Sustainable sippers, part 6: Tequila

Although produced in Jalisco, Mexico, 4 Copas Tequila is made from organic blue agave plants in a “green” distillery and certified organic by the USDA. Available in blanco, reposado, and anejo styles, 4 Copas also produces certified-organic agave nectar–a preferred alternative to simple syrup for mixing organic cocktails.

Benefits: Supports sustainable farming practices south of the border. Proceeds from sales of 4 Copas’ special-edition bottles also support preservation of endangered sea turtles in Baja California.

Drawbacks: Like other organic spirits, organic tequila is pricey–4 Copas Blanco starts is $57 for a 750-milliliter bottle. And organic tequila is still new to the green scene, so it can be especially hard to find. But more producers are coming on board: Last year, the 200-year-old, family-owned Casa Noble distillery in Jalisco, Mexico, where 4 Copas is produced, received organic certification from the USDA.

Sparkling Paloma

A Paloma is a traditional Mexican cocktail combining grapefruit juice and tequila. Use fresh grapefruits, which are in season, juicy, and abundant right now. This is an easy sipper to prepare and a change of pace from the best-known tequila cocktail: the margarita.

Kosher salt, for rimming the glass (optional)

2 ounces organic blanco or reposado tequila

2 ounces organic grapefruit juice (no pulp)

1 tablespoon fresh lime juice

1 tablespoon agave nectar

Sparkling water

  1. Optional: Pour a thin layer of salt in a saucer. Moisten the rim of a highball glass with a damp towel. Place the rim of the glass in the salt, gently turning to help salt adhere to glass.
  2. Fill glass with crushed ice. Add tequila, juices, and nectar, stirring gently to combine. Top with sparkling water. Yield: 1 serving.

Also in this series:

Part 1: Wine, beer, and spirits hop on the organic bandwagon

Part 2: Wine

Part 3: Vodka and gin

Part 4: Mix with Care

Part 5: Sake