Cocktail(s) of The Week: #ToastTheTrees Social Media Campaign Combines Whiskey And Tree Planting

New Orleans’ bars are joining a national effort to help plant trees.

by Paula Echevarria | September 13, 2018

New Orleans’ bars are joining a national effort to help plant trees thanks to a Kentucky whiskey distillery’s social media campaign.

By law, bourbon must be aged in new, charred white oak barrels, and considering its rising popularity in the past decade, it means a lot of trees are used in the production of “America’s Native Spirit.” September celebrates National Bourbon Heritage Month and Angel’s Envy is planting seeds of thought with bourbon and the planet’s future as we raise our glasses.

For every photo of a drink or a bottle you post on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter with the hashtag #toastthetrees, the company — in partnership with the Arbor Day Foundation — will plant one white oak tree. The goal for the 2018 campaign is to plant 20,000 trees, so we just gave you a pretty good reason to get thee to the bar this month.

You can take the photograph anywhere serving the popular bourbon (even in the comfy sweatpants-wearing lands of your home), but here are some bars that are offering specialty drinks for the cause:

Old Fashioned at Company Burger (Downtown)

This old fashion variation uses AE Bourbon alongside yellow Chartreuse and Bitter Queens Sassy Sally Sarsaparilla.

Blackheart Angel at Avenue Pub

“I named it after my own heart,” jokes Eileen Matuszewski, manager at Avenue Pub. The refreshing libation mixes the port-finished bourbon with a blackberry syrup and lemon, and it’s topped of with local Huhu’s Ginger Brew — which they have on tap.

Impeccable Timing at Apolline

This stirred drink uses the very aeromatic Otto’s Athens Vermouth, adds texture with some Lustau East India Solera, reminds us that this is still New Orleans with Peychaud’s bitters, and its enhanced with a couple of drops of a simple saline solution that “adds a layer of flavor to the cocktail, without salt setting at the bottom of the glass,” explains bar manager Amanda Thomas.

Old Pal at The Rusty Nail

The Old Pal is a lighter variation of a Boulevardier cocktail, which it’s in itself a rye variation of the Negroni. Essentially what you’ve got here is one part AE Rye whiskey, one part dry (instead of sweet) vermouth, and one part Campari.

Calling All Angels at Bourbon House

Lead bartender Nastasha Rogala’s take on a Mint Julep using honey, mint, turbinado and Floc de Gascogne Armagnac to curve and highlight the port barrel finish.

Off To Never Land at Public Service (NOPSI Hotel)

This classy tipple uses AE with yellow chartreuse (seems like a good match at this point) but ups the ante on the fancy with a full-bodied Sandman 10-Year-Old Tawny Porto and Black Pepper bitters.

Blueberry Cupcake at CupCake Fairies

And for those of you attempting Sober September, if you go support this local, African-American-owned businesses on Bayou Road you’ll stumble upon this lovely cupcake shop that will be featuring these scrumptious creations with Angels Envy’s macerated blueberries. And guess what, you can take a picture of them too with the hashtag #toastthetrees.

And if eating is more your thing than bar hopping or cupcake scarfing, a chicken wing eating contest is being held at Bourree at Boucherie on Monday (Sept. 24), where AE is providing some whiskey cocktails to help the initiative.

Paula Echevarria

Paula Echevarria

Born in Madrid, raised in Miami, bred in New Orleans: Paula is a gregarious locavore always in search of a good cocktail and a great story. She won an Emmy for her kitchen production work while at NBCUniversal, and was nominated for a second one while working as the Associate Producer for PBS's Check, Please! South Florida with host, James Beard Award Winner, Chef Michelle Bernstein.

While she worked as the Miami editor for national digital food and drink powerhouse, Tasting Table, she was chosen by Tom Colicchio as one of his secret diners for Bravo's Best New Restaurant. Food is her passion, but cocktails are her mistress, and she has been extensively covering the subject as a freelance digital journalist and social media maven for the past 5 years. This included a column for Edible called Tropical Tippling, and extensive reporting for the Miami New Times.

She's back in her true love New Orleans after being away for ten years, and you can follow her food adventures @nola.bites and her tippling ones at @cocktailgroupie.

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