World-Saving Spirits

Spirits are generally judged by taste, smell and even price. But there’s another important criterion: how they give back. A number of brands around the world not only produce fine alcohol but also have found a way to help their local communities. So start off the year by drinking for a good cause.

Death’s Door:

This Wisconsin-based craft distillery makes an acclaimed line of spirits, including a smooth vodka, a complex white whiskey and a London dry-style gin. Most of the ingredients are organic and grown in-state, plus one percent of all revenue goes to regional environmental groups.

Fair:

In 2008, this French brand launched the world’s first portfolio of Fair Trade Certified spirits, and it was exported to the US just last summer. So far, there’s a vodka made from Bolivian quinoa, a goji liqueur that uses Himalayan berries and a coffee liqueur flavored with beans from Mexico.

Karlsson’s Gold Vodka:

At the heart of Karlsson’s Gold are artisanal new potatoes from the Cape Bjäre region of southern Sweden. The brand’s founders came up with the idea for the spirit as a way to support local farmers and stave off developers who were trying to buy their land.

VeeV Açaí Spirit:

VeeV is made with the Amazonian super-fruit açaí and was started by brothers Carter and Courtney Reum in 2007. It claims to be the only certified carbon-neutral spirits company in the world and donates $1 to a rainforest-preservation project for every bottle sold.

Zacapa Rum:

Around the middle of every bottle of Zacapa Rum 23 is a woven band of dried palm leaves. This traditional Mayan handicraft, called petate, is produced by a group of 750 female artisans in Guatemala. The project helps support their community and ensures the survival of the art form.

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