Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award 2024

Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award 2024

True Laurel

San Francisco

Mastering the metamorphosis of trash to smash

Taking a holistic approach to sustainability is the way True Laurel cares for their community and environment while creating one-of-a-kind flavour profiles in every cocktail. The bar focuses on locality to the point where they not only reap the riches of Northern California produce, but also utilise “ugly fruit” (fruit unfit to sell) from Bay Area and Central Valley farmers, local invasive weeds such as creeping yellow wood sorrel and fully regenerative native species such as tips from young redwood trees.

Partnerships with local producers reduce the carbon footprint through shorter transport, but also create a team effort towards reaching a common, ethical mission. This includes sourcing Bardos Cider, which uses fruit from forgotten orchards and donating to Chris Renfro and Jannea Tschirch’s Two Eighty Project, which provides access to BIPOC communities in the wine world. Past initiatives include raising funds for Sogorea Te' Land Trust, an indigenous and woman run program fighting for land rights. Staff are educated through distillery tours and are offered paid offsite guest bartender shifts all around the world.

All energy used at True Laurel comes from renewable sources and they pride themselves on using the entire ingredient in their drinks. Trimmings from garnishes and seeds from unique, local flora are used to create infusions, tinctures and tonics. An entire category called ‘Trash Smash’ cocktails are synthesised from ingredients that might have otherwise become waste. To reduce plastic use from sous vide items, they use a Gastrovac: a hot plate that changes the atmospheric pressure inside a sealed stainless pot to extract flavor without the use of single use plastics. Sous vide and other wastewater from guests is used to hydrate surrounding planters. And, because they’ve been able to eliminate plastic use in-house, they are a certified ocean-friendly business by the Surfrider Foundation.

Through True Laurel’s innovations and relationships, they’ve fostered an ethos that serves delicious drinks while reducing their ecological footprint, partnering with local farms and investing in community groups. This is why True Laurel is named the winner of the Ketel One Sustainable Bar Award 2024.


Previous Winners

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