The Happiest Hour Of All

When it comes to hanging out at bars, no one is immune to trash talk; since the first cocktail was mixed, bar goers have been getting lippy. However, it’s 2021 and trash talk is taking a sharp turn towards Sustainability Town. It’s easy to forget how much waste can be created at our favourite watering holes, but as cocktails become more sophisticated and multifaceted, the more ingredients are used, which in turn create more waste.

New bars in Hong Kong are a dime a dozen, but there is something different about Penicillin – it’s officially Hong Kong’s first closed-loop bar. What this means is that they operate at 80% sustainability from the drinks they make to the furnishings themselves. How do they do this? One of the simple approaches they take is salvaging ingredient scraps and offcuts to be reused or upcycled, much like a nose-to-tail approach taken by some restaurants. This place is a trailblazer in the sustainable dining race, not only that, they even have a fermentation chamber and lab that allows guests to explore the different processes and techniques used by the team to create experimental cocktails… how cool is that for a talking point! 

At 8Shades we just couldn’t resist collaborating with such an innovative business that shares our green ethos and loves exploring new and challenging ways of “mixing” things up (see what I did there). If you were lucky enough to receive one of our gift boxes you’ll know just how delicious their cocktails are but we implore you to go and check them out for yourselves and enjoy this finite period of time where lunchtime drinking has become temporarily acceptable. 

So to mark the beginning of 8Shades’s green journey, we hosted our digital launch event there on January 26th 2020, of course during happy hour, to virtually celebrate the occasion with our closest friends, fellow eco-enthusiasts and founding 8Shaders. If you missed the Instagram live, watch it here

At the launch, we shared our ethos at 8Shades and had a chat (and a drink) with Penicillin’s co-founder Agung Prabowo about what inspired him to approach sustainability differently in the industry and how he created our very own green cocktail called “8Shades” (made with low carbon footprint local distilled NIP gin) to commemorate the occasion.  

Apart from some wicked cocktail making skills, what we learnt from Agung is that you can still have fun and drink while still maintaining your green ethics, it’s simply about being mindful and making better choices… pretty simple really. Most importantly though, it’s a practice we could and should also take into our own homes when creating a tipple or two, through simple steps like reusing or upcycling empty liqueur or wine bottles, ferment your own fruit and vegetable scraps for mixing (or dispose of in a compost bin), shop for herbs and spices at zero waste stores and just staying away from single use straws and cocktail picks. Simple steps make for a totally guilt-free happy hour… we just can’t take responsibility for your hangover the next day.