5 Zero-Waste Holiday Cocktails

Say cheers to an eco-friendly season.

As the holidays approach, it’s important to remember to be environmentally conscious. Accidental environmentalist Julia Grieve shares some of her fave guilt-free cocktail recipes.

It’s estimated that Canadians are throwing away 45% more waste, and this is something we can all tackle first-hand in our homes and have a drink while doing it! ‘Trach cocktails are a growing movement within the international bar industry to help reduce food waste. It was spearheaded by two bartenders Kelsey Ramage and Iain Griffiths who created trash telly (formally trash tiki).

Before getting into the cocktails, we are going to do a little chopping board cordial recipe inspired by Trash Telly. This year I have got a lot of citrus remains, from drying them out for my holiday décor and gift wrapping this year, so we’re going to take all of that and use it up!


Cocktail #1: “Cordial”

This is going to be the base of your cocktail and you could make this with any cast-offs like orange peels or grapefruit peels. Here are the ingredients that you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of citrus cut-offs
  • 2 cups of water (1:1 ratio of water and citrus cut-offs)
  • 1 ½ cup of sugar, adding to taste
  • ¾ teaspoon of citric acid


  1. Mix the citrus cut-offs, water and sugar in a bowl. Add sugar to taste and mix well. Let it sit in the fridge for at least 24 hours.
  2. Strain into a bottle and add the citric acid. And now you have a ‘simple syrup’ (made with food waste) that you can use in many different cocktails!


Cocktail #2: Julia’s Trash Smash Gin Sizzle


  • 1 ½ shot of cucumber mint Gin
  • 1 shot of chopping board lime cordial
  • Soda water


  1. Mix the gin and lime cordial in a cocktail shaker with ice. Poor over a glass of ice and top up with soda water.
  2. Garnish with a cucumber wedge.


Cocktail #3: Orgeat Syrup

Instead of throwing out your avocado pits you can turn them into an orgeat syrup which is typically a syrup made from almonds and is a key ingredient in any Tiki drink. If we can’t travel at least we can have our own Tiki Party and save the planet at the same time!


  • 2-3 avocado pits
  • 1 2/3 cups of sugar
  • 1 2/3 cups of water


  1. Make sure the pits are dry and clean. Even though they look very hard, they do have some moisture in them, and you can blend them. Pop them in your blender so they are chopped up.
  2. Then you want to toast them quickly in a frying pan with no oil. Kind of like when you toast nuts.
  3. Then add your toasted pits, to the water and sugar and leave overnight. Then next morning, blend the mixture together and you’re done!


Cocktail #4: Julia’s Simple Trash Mia Thai Martini


  • 1 ½ shot pineapple-infused rum
  • 1 shot of avocado orgeat
  • 1 shot of chopping board lime cordial


  1. Mix in a shaker. And pour in a martini glass and serve with a pineapple wedge.


Cocktail #5: Holiday Nog

For this last cocktail, we have zero-waste eggnog! You are going to need Plant-based ‘egg-nog’ which is an organic, dairy-free and non-alcoholic eggnog that is coconut-based with non-alcoholic Rum – very popular this year. You can find it on Well.ca! Since there is no alcohol, it’s also going to cost less! It’s a great option to have around if people don’t drink and you’re looking for something a little more festive than pop or water.


  • Alcohol-free Rum
  • Plant-based “eggnog”
  • Nutmeg
  • Ground cinnamon
  • Cinnamon sticks


  1. Combine a shot and a half of the Alcohol-free rum, 2 shots of our “eggnog” with a pinch of cinnamon and nutmeg into a shaker.
  2. Then you are going to do a dry shake, without the ice. Give it a few good shakes. Then add ice to the shaker and shake again.
  3. Strain and pour into a cup, and garnish with a cinnamon stick and ground cinnamon and nutmeg. You can also top it off with a sugar-free organic ‘save the planet’ Candy cane!