You sent out your Evite and now you’re working hard to make sure your house is ready for the crowd. Before you put pen to paper to create the menu for your next get-together, pour yourself a tall one, sip some Syrah, or have a spot of tea and relax. Beverage manufacturers have taken several steps toward catering to the eco-conscious. Their pertinent offerings make it an excuse, in itself, to get friends, family, and colleagues together.
Before you set out to explore organic beers and wines, as well as indulge in an inspirational organic tea, consider these green drink options.
- For brew lovers, Wolavers tops the list as an organic beer producer that uses organic hops grown in the United States, rather than in the typical places, such as New Zealand or Germany. It makes organic beers, as well as organic cider. Other noteworthy beer makers include Peak Organic, Butte Creek Brewing Co., New Belgium, and Santa Cruz Mountain Brewery.
- Teas that are tops in the organic niche of the market include ones from Numi, Republic of Tea, and Beverly Hills-based Blackberry Pond Tea Company.
Republic of Tea’s Organic USDA Flowering Fruit Full Leaf tea ($10.50/3.5 oz) gets its flavor from hydrating hibiscus and rosehips, as well as orange peel, lemon grass, and orange oil.
Brewing tea using a Numi’s Flowering Teapot is a memorable sensory experience and worth sharing with others with the company’s Bamboo Flowering Gift Tea Set ($33.95). Numi’s flowering teas includes hand-picked and sewn organically grown teas in white, green, and black varieties. Aptly named Leaves of Art consists of buds that blossom when steeped in hot water. These sets include a bamboo gift box, teapot, and tea. Other teas to try include several varieties sold by Blackberry Pond Tea Company, such as its Blackberry Vanilla Crème (an herbal tea), Malibu Coconut (a black tea), and Mystic Mint (a refreshing green tea).
- When your guests expect wine to be on hand, choose one that has a story to tell. Intriguing options include wines on the forefront of the Biodynamic agricultural movement or a bottle of organic wine from New Zealand, sealed with a kiss from its Mori founder. Within California’s Mendocino County, there’s a 126-acre biodynamic vineyard that produced the 2004 Patianna Sauvignon Blanc ($18) with citrus and peppery grapefruit notes. Jim Fetzer (from Fetzer Vineyard fame) became one of the first winemakers in the US to turn to Biodynamics for his Ceago vineyard. His 2001 Ceago Vinegarden Camp Masut Merlot ($25) is reminiscent of rich black cherries. Planning to uncork an organic New Zealand wine? Look to Felton Road, Millton, Pyramid Valley and Seresin.
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