Iain Griffiths, 32, is constantly running in and out of bars, restaurants and bakeries, collecting food scraps and carrying leaking brown boxes.
As one half of the bartending duo Trash Tiki, he has to do collection rounds frequently. The food scraps are ingredients for Mr. Griffiths’ upcycled craft cocktail company, which he started with his wife and business partner, Kelsey Ramage. Together, they travel the world making drinks out of leftover items. Their aim: creating a more sustainable bar scene.
The couple started Trash Tiki in 2016, throwing parties in basements with the Sex Pistols blaring. It has since evolved into an international event series and online recipe platform that reimagines leftover items like watermelon rinds and fruit pulp.
These days, the founders are on a nationwide and European tour that has them reaching out to restaurants and other venues for kitchen hand-me-downs in whichever city they happen to be. They boil day-old croissants into sugar syrup, whip leftover milk from coffee shops into whey, and ferment discarded pineapple skins. Avocado pits are sautéed, chopped and strained for their nutty flavor. The husks of juiced-out limes, of which venues use hundreds in a night, are thrown into a pot for a “citrus stock.”
These ingredients find their way into reimagined favorites. A mai tai by Trash Tiki, for example, includes rum infused with discarded pistachio shells, and stock made of orange peels, boiled and blended almond croissants, lime husk citrus juice, and dried hibiscus. There’s some agave syrup in there too. Other drinks are more simple, such