Distilling fine spirits is so much a part of America’s heritage that even George Washington himself owned a distillery. Since then the industry hit some snags like well…prohibition, but craft distilling is coming back in a big way and Greenbar Collective is leading the way in redefining American made spirits. Greenbar is the first distillery in Los Angeles since the 1920′s, but they started out in a much smaller way. Husband and wife Melkon Khosrovian and Litty Mathew began experimenting with infusing vodkas with different ingredients before they were married. As both their passion for each other and creating unique tasting spirits grew so did the requests from friends and family to make more. Jump ahead a few more years and Greenbar now boasts the largest organic line of spirits on the market and a facility just a little bit bigger than a kitchen in a part of Los Angeles built to bring manufacturing back downtown known as the Cleantech Manufacturing Center.
Going organic was a decision that started with the relationships Greenbar had built with local farmers who had decided to switch over their produce to organic because of the better flavors. Greenbar gets it’s produce like lemons and oranges within 50 miles of its distillery. The TRU vodka is made with American grown wheat. Other flavors like jasmine and hibiscus from locally grown organic flowers are used to make Fruitlab Liqueurs that taste like a spirit experiment gone right.
Ingredients are only part of what makes these drinks taste so unique. The refined process for each individual product is the other half of what makes them stand out. Greenbar’s rum, which is made from organic molasses and sugarcane, is distilled using a micro-oxygenation technique borrowed from winemakers. Unlike the other clear gins out there, the TRU gin gains its honey like color from taking 2 months to infuse flavors like juniper, coriander, chamomile, and lavender. It is then redistilled to capture the purified aroma and alcohol. Lastly, a white whisky produced from three organic grains (oats, malt and spelt) which are fermented slowly to bring out the taste and aroma but not aged like other whiskys to create the equivalent of what Khosrovian calls a silver tequila. Greenbar’s actual tequila is the only spirit they make outside of the U.S. in Mexico. They use a distillery and agave farm as resources which they fly down to operate and oversee.
So is it just organic ingredients that is taking down so much carbon? No. On top of going organic Greenbar uses less material in their bottles, recycled labels, and they plant one tree in central America for every bottle sold. That equates to close to 200,000 trees and enough carbon absorption to erase a day of your carbon footprint for every 2 ounces of Greenbar product consumed. So drink up. We have to fight global warming somehow.
Find available retailers at Greenbar Collective.