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One for the Road: Green Bars

In case you missed Al Gore’s text message, today is Earth Day, and it’s time to raise a recycled glass to environmental protection and sustainability. Sure, you could sit in your geothermally heated home and sip organic liquor by the light of a compact fluorescent bulb, but wouldn’t you rather ride your bicycle to a green bar? These eco-friendly establishments have a low impact on the planet but a big one on your palate.

Bar Agricole, 355 11th Street, San Francisco, 415 355 9400:

Housed in a former brewery warehouse, Thad Vogler’s Bar Agricole (pictured above) not only has delicious cocktails but also is a LEED-certified marvel of design. Both the bartenders and chef Brandon Jew pluck produce from the garden beds on its outdoor patio.

What to Drink: Turf Cocktail (gin, dry vermouth, absinthe, Maraska Maraschino Liqueur, orange bitters)

Bar 888, 888 Howard Street, San Francisco, 415 616 6566

The soaring, 550-room InterContinental Hotel is one of the largest LEED-certified buildings in California. Its lobby-level Bar 888 offers more than 120 different kinds of grappa (think of it as white brandy from Italy, made by upcycling grape skins, stems and seeds left over from winemaking) and an impressive menu of cocktails.

What to Drink: LEEDer Cocktail (Poli Miele Liqueur, organic raspberries, organic basil, prosecco)

Elixir, 3200 16th Street, San Francisco, 415 552 1633:

This historic San Francisco saloon was the first bar in the city to be certified by the Bay Area Green Business Program. Owner and Liquor.com advisor H. Joseph Ehrmann offers a good selection of organic beer, wine and cocktails.

What to Drink: Botanical Lavender Lemonade (Square One Botanical Spirit, lemon juice, lavender syrup, fresh lavender)

Founding Farmers, 1924 Pennsylvania Avenue Northwest, Washington, D.C., 202 822 8783:

Just three blocks from the White House, Founding Farmers is close enough to dip into Michelle Obama’s vegetable garden. But the LEED-certified restaurant and bar buys its produce from family farmers and uses carbon offsets to neutralize the shipping. Toast the planet with one of its pre-prohibition drinks.

What to Drink: Classic Cobbler (cognac, gin, whiskey, rum, lemon, orange, pineapple, lime, malbec wine, seasonal fruit)

Red Stag Supperclub, 509 1st Avenue Northeast, Minneapolis, 612 767 7766

The first LEED-certified restaurant in Minnesota, the Red Stag serves local and organic food, while the entertainment ranges from live music to speed-Scrabble tournaments. On Earth Day, part of the restaurant’s proceeds will go to the Land Stewardship Project, which promotes sustainable agriculture.

What to Drink: Rose Gimlet (rosebud- and rose hip-infused gin, lime juice)

Square 1682, 121 South 17th Street, Philadelphia, 215 563 5008:

Square 1682 is inside the chic and LEED-certified Hotel Palomar in the ritzy Rittenhouse Square neighborhood. It boasts a menu of chef Guillermo Tellez’s bar bites and a drinks program created by Liquor.com advisor Jacques Bezuidenhout.

What to Drink: Indian Summer (Bluecoat Gin, Pimm’s No. 1, pineapple juice, cardamom, nutmeg)

Looking for more great watering holes? Check out our bar guide for the best bars in the world.

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