William Grant & Sons puts a sustainable spin on vermouth with Discarded

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Drinks: Drinks, Wines
Location: UK

William Grant & Sons‘s latest launch builds on the sustainability movement gaining momentum in the industry recently. Discarded is a new sweet vermouth infused with cascara, the deep red berry of the coffee plant leftover from coffee production.

According to the brand, billions of tonnes of cascara are thrown away each year in the process of making coffee. Discarded vermouth aims to give new life to the fruit.

‘Two years ago, one of my barista friends gave me some cascara which I started to experiment with and blend with a variety of vermouths,’ commented Monkey Shoulder’s global ambassador Joe Petch, who came up with the concept.

William Grant & Sons expanded on Petch’s idea, setting up larger scale production to create an original vermouth. Discarded is made by steeping cascara in alcohol to produce an extract, which is then blended into fortified wine with wormwood extract and cinnamon to complete the flavour profile.

The Discardier
Garnish: Orange twist
Method: Stir over ice and garnish with the orange twist.

40ml Discarded vermouth
30ml Monkey Shoulder
30ml Campari
Orange twist

Sustainability is a running theme throughout the William Grant & Sons’ campaign for Discarded; the brand even provides instructions for repurposing empty bottles of the vermouth. However, Petch is quick to emphasise that cascara is ultimately used because it benefits the liquid.

‘What I found was that cascara is deep, complex, rich and fruity in flavour which makes the vermouth more accessible and versatile in mixology.’

The brand touts a Boulevardier variant dubbed The Discardier as its signature serve, but Petch told Imbibe he’s partial to a simple D&T: just Discarded vermouth, tonic water and an orange slice to garnish.

Discarded is already on offer at several venues, including American Bar and Beaufort Bar at The Savoy, Duck & Waffle, The Connoaught and Scarfes Bar.

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