Big Congratulations to London's Bar World of Tomorrow Winner!
We’re proud to be involved in judging the Bar World of Tomorrow Awards from Pernod Ricard and Time Out Magazine, recognising and celebrating bars around the world that are leading the way forwards in sustainability and responsible business practices. The winner of the London edition has just been announced, and all four shortlisted bars are truly incredible. Read on to learn more about the winner, as well as the three very impressive runners-up.
The London Bar World of Tomorrow submissions were a joy to read, with each nominated bar having made substantial and demonstrable progress in sustainability. Despite this, and somewhat to our relief, one bar comprehensively set themselves apart from the rest and made this a straightforward award to judge. Talk about Little Mercies!
Winner of the London Bar World of Tomorrow Award: Little Mercies
No stone has been left unturned in this team’s effort to make ‘green’ their operation and products. Starting with sourcing principles, Little Mercies buy seasonal produce. Wherever they decide to set some of this fresh produce aside for later in the year, they make use of traditional preservation methods such as fermentation and distillation. Herbs are grown in their own planters, and spirits previously purchased abroad are being replaced with those made in the UK. Ingredients are typically bought in bulk to reduce the amount of packaging involved and, where possible, glass is completely avoided to reduce package weight and associated transport emissions.
In-house, circular principles are applied, with surplus ingredients being used to make everything from spirits to soaps. Old hand towels are now used as cleaning cloths, and what (minimal) citrus fruits are purchased are used in full; the husks, for example, are used in cordials, dressings or distilled in vodka. Unnecessary materials – like straws and printed receipts – have been completely removed from operations. The team has also worked closely with Discarded Spirits to develop educational materials that help people make their own ingredients at home.
Recycling and waste segregation is thoroughly considered across the business, all lighting is LED and low watt, and information that’s typically guarded (such as work policies and detailed product breakdowns) is publicly available on their site. Work policies include anti-discrimination and harassment and equal pay, and staff have flexible rotas with clearly set maximum hours and limited contact outside of work. The team are also regularly trained on responsible hosting.
Congratulations to Little Mercies for truly leading the way in creating a better Bar World of Tomorrow.
London Bar World of Tomorrow Award: Runners-up
Adam Handling’s first-ever bar sits below his Michelin-star dining spot Frog in Covent Garden. Like the restaurant upstairs, Eve is all about doing things a little differently. They’ve deployed all manner of fancy tech to help in their zero-waste mission, including a bar laboratory packed with a carbonation bottling system, an ultrasonic homogeniser, a mini centrifuge, vacuum pac machines, and dehydrators so they can extract flavour from waste ingredients. By-products from the restaurant end up in everything from a bone marrow martini to a banana rum slushie.
It’s not just the drinks at Notting Hill’s Viajante87 that are sustainable, but the space, too; the bar itself is made of recycled glass, and the walls are decorated with upcycled cork. The cocktail magic happens in the dedicated mixology lab, with a rotovap evaporation machine and centrifuge repurposing ingredients for popping directly into concoctions like a Martini Malcriado with brown butter sage mezcal, or a Negroni Morada with purple potato. A percentage of profits also go to charities that fight homelessness and food insecurity.
London Bridge’s Nine Lives is all about offering things an added lease of life – from the vintage decor to a full recycling programme, energy use monitoring and ethical sourcing. It’s not just the drinks that get that extra bit of love – it’s the staff, too. With a current focus on ‘human sustainability’, Nine Lives offers its team a profit share as well as a ‘healthy’ wage and prioritising their physical and mental health, with free gym access. The food also fits the bill, with seasonal and sustainable seafood tacos.
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