Green Drinks - Should You Shop For Organic Spirits?

Organic Spirits photo

Though that potato snuck in there, thus far there isn't a pure organic potato vodka

It's always been a bit of a mystery - though organic beer and wines have steadily multiplied in the last few years, the number of green labels in the hard liquor aisle hasn't seemed to. One reason that spirits producers lagged in organic, according to our resident spirits specialist (he who shall not be named) is that chemically there's no difference between an alcohol distilled from organic grains or fruits and one made from conventional garden-variety grains (which in the U.S. is corn, followed by wheat and rye).

However, organic spirits choices have come slowly come onto the market (vodkas especially) and now there is an organic choice in all the major spirits categories - as well as reasons that organic spirits might appeal. Avoiding genetically modified ingredients would be one reason, and knowing that the earth growing your spirits' base ingredients was treated a bit more lightly is another. So, by the time you are ready for that summer vodka-tonic, what should you choose?Square One is trying hard to cut a greener figure, using organic rye for its vodka and sporting a square-shaped bottle (which means a lower CO2 profile). Square One eschewed an Absolut-style frosted bottle due to the toxic acid treatment required on the glass. Square One has also introduced a cucumber-flavored variant (still organic!). Tru Organic Vodka and Vodka 14 also tout their environmental chops with recyclable PETG plastic corks - Tru says their bottle uses 25% less glass than most. Tru has organic vanilla and organic lemon flavors available. Rain Organic Vodka is great if you want organic but have a gluten allergy and are very particular about not eating wheat or rye (it's made from organic white corn).

And finally, if you along with our spirits specialist think a distilled liquor doesn't need to be organic, VeeV might be the choice for you. VeeV is a wheat-based vodka infused with the taste of the açaí berry - bottled at the same distillery as Square One and OrangeV. Last year the USDA and Thai researchers discovered that certain berries (they tested strawberries and blackberries) and found that alcohol seems to enhance the berries' antioxidant punch. Veev, though never claiming that its alcohol is healthier, says anecdotally it believes açaí spirits are a better way to drink. Here's hoping your liver thinks so.

During the researching of this article, no alcoholic spirits were ingested. However, we rediscovered Juniper Green organic gin, and found a Fair Trade Rum and 4 Copas Organic Tequila. Skål!

See also: TreeHugger Picks: Cruisin' For Some Boozin'