Is Tequila Good for the Planet?

By Faran Krentcil, Fact checked by Jessica Ochoa

3 min read


Getting wasted: 🥴

Laying waste to the planet: ☠️

Fortunately, with a little bit of planning, you can have your favorite cocktail and avoid both. That’s because many hard liquors that are created with regenerative agriculture (better irrigation, less stress on the soil, no pesticides) are the same ones that some spirits journalists credit with a better and more complex favor, meaning less “Shots! Shots! Shots!” and more time to savor the actual drink. 

But let’s be real—sometimes, we do just want a shot… or three. And even then, it’s a good idea to reach for booze that’s made with sustainable agriculture, because hangovers can happen, but not at the expense of the natural world.

Here are a few of our favorite mindful bottles of booze:

Created by a team of Latinx women, Casa Del Sol tequila is a top-rated spirit for its smoothness and blendability. Grown in the southwestern Mexican state of Jalisco, it uses traditional family methods for harvesting and distillation, and each harvested agave plant gets replaced with an offshoot “once the soil has had the chance to regenerate,” helping to preserve biodiversity and prevent over-farming. Casa Del Sol also uses agave leaves and roots as fuel for the distillery heat, and solar panels for their electric needs. Sip it, don’t shoot it! 

There are several regenerative gin brands in Europe, but since locally-made spirits will always have a lower carbon footprint, we recommend getting your martini kicks with a bottle made closer to home. Branchwater Farms is “an integrated group of micro-farms, all cultivated in accordance with organic and regenerative farming principles” located in the Hudson Valley of New York State. Drink it shaken, stirred, whatever.

While there are many organic vodkas on the market, GOOD Vodka participates in regenerative agriculture by using fruit waste from coffee plants—which would typically get tossed into a landfill and create harmful methane emissions—and turning it into liquor at their upstate New York distillery. 

Historians can find the origins of rum in ancient Sanskrit scrolls from the 7th Century, but traditional Caribbean rhum—made from sugarcane, not molasses—is first found in court records circa 1651. (It later appears in every Pirates of the Caribbean movie ever.) Batiste Rhum aims to bring it back to basics with organic sugarcane, regenerative agricultural practices, renewable energy in their distillery, and packaging designed to save materials and energy. Along with documenting their entire production process online, they’ve also scored quality awards from booze councils in Berlin, New York, and San Francisco… but you can still pour a shot in your favorite soda and pretend you’re in college.

If Supreme collabs were liquors, they’d probably be Matchbook whiskeys. This tiny female-owned distillery visits local farms, takes whatever they’ve got growing, and turns them into micro-batches of bourbon, rye, vodka, and so much more. (They’ve even done whiskey with leftover bread from a Brooklyn bakery.) Besides their signature bourbon, you can also get a plum sec made with discarded fruit from a Long Island orchard.