You’d think they’d be busy with their work with White Lyan and Dandelyan, but Iain Griffiths and Kelsey Ramage are set to get busier with the launch of a new side project, tackling the huge amount of rubbish that the on-trade generates.
Called Trash Tiki, the project will see the pair take over bars across the globe when they’re travelling for work, creating drinks from used cocktail ingredients that usually go straight in the bin.
‘Basically we’re taking waste products from other bars or restaurants and turning them into usable ingredients for drinks, explained Ramage, talking exclusively to Imbibe. ‘What we want to do with our website is get a blog going that shares what we’re doing. We want to create a forum where we’re posting those recipes and making them available, so that it’s not so hush hush, and showing [bartenders]what they could be doing with those things that would usually be thrown away.’
‘For us, it’s about putting some emotion into what is a very cold word like sustainability,’ said Griffiths. ‘This is an activation, an idea and ethos that we want to see every single bar in the world doing.’
They’ll be doing things like taking used coffee grounds and using them to make a coffee orgeat, before then taking those grounds and the almonds from the orgeat and using them to also make a salt.
‘By using the by-products of other bars or things that would be thrown away, we’re not actually bringing in any new ingredients,’ explains Ramage. ‘And while that’s stopping us throwing things away, we’re also saving things that would be going straight in the garbage, which is saving a little bit of money.’
The pair estimate that an average-sized cocktail bar produces six to eight bags of organic waste a night, and the same again of used packaging. Which is a huge amount, when you think about it.
‘Every little bit counts,’ said Griffiths. ‘People obsess with the notion that it’s got to be all or nothing. If you can’t be 100% zero waste, then why even bother? But if you can make 10% difference, that matters so much.’
The initiative will launch at the Spirit of Tiki event this Friday 7 October, where Trash Tiki has teamed up with Yaguara cachaça to run a bar. They’ll be using by-products from other bars at the event to make their drinks. And even their drinking vessels will be made from ‘waste’, with pineapple husks dehydrated and empty Yaguara bottles cut and sanded to both form glasses for their drinks.
There are currently plans in the pipeline for an appearance in Edinburgh next year, and LA in the not-too-distant future. So keep your eyes peeled and get involved.
The website will be launched later this week and can be found at trashtiki.com.