By Lindsey Turnbull
Agua Hospitality Group is bringing a brand-new eco-friendly spirits concept to Cayman, which they are calling a “huge step forward” for the industry.
The group, which began with Agua Restaurant and now the Next Door Cocktail Bar, is opening three additional venues this year, and is led by Agua partners Walter Fajette, Cristiano Vincentini and Wayne Epple. They have partnered with ecoSPIRITS and believe the new system of how spirits are delivered to the customer, negating the need for glass bottles, will make an important contribution to preserving the islands’ precious natural heritage.
The new system, called a closed loop service, is being brought into Cayman by ecoSPIRITS under a Licensed Operator Agreement with Agua Hospitality Group. ecoSPIRITS Cayman Islands marks the arrival of closed loop spirits in ecoSPIRITS’ third island market, following launches earlier this year in Bermuda and the Seychelles. As part of the collaboration, Agua Hospitality Group will begin distribution of a portfolio of craft spirits, starting with True Believers brands. ecoSPIRITS Climate Partner brands Tried & True Vodka, Mackintosh Blended Malt Scotch, Los Arcos Destilado de Agave and Widges Gin will be will be available in an ecoTOTE format across the island from early July, a brilliant eco-friendly container that means glass bottles are not needed to be transported to the island.
The system comprises of a dedicated production and warehouse facility established by Agua Hospitality Group which hosts and operates ecoPLANT No. 027, the first ecoPLANT in the Caribbean region. This will be the location where each ecoTOTE is filled with the brand name spirits and to which the empty ecoTOTEs will then be returned, cleaned, sterilised, and refilled. Bars and restaurants can be supplied with the ecoTOTEs, thereby creating an environmentally-friendly alternative to the thousands of glass bottles which end up in the landfill every year.
Like Bermuda and the Seychelles, ecoSPIRITS Cayman Islands will join the ecoSPIRITS Oceans Program, operating a fleet of blue Ocean Conservation edition ecoTOTEs and funding one kilogramme of ocean waste recovery for each ecoTOTE delivered to bars, restaurants and hotels in the islands. One of ecoSPIRITS Cayman Islands’ first venue partners will be the Kimpton Seafire Resort + Spa.
Wayne Epple, Group General Manager, Agua Hospitality Group & Managing Director, ecoSPIRITS Cayman Islands, is proud to be on the cutting edge of such important technology.
“Never had I thought there would be an opportunity for the hospitality and spirits industries to become a major sustainability player by reducing carbon emissions and eliminating single use glass – but this is exactly what ecoSPIRITS is doing globally,” he stated. “Here in the Cayman Islands, rising sea levels are impacting mangrove and marine life and single use packaging is contributing to landfill waste that burdens our limited landmass. The ecoSPIRITS closed loop technology provides a unique, sustainable solution by reducing CO2 emissions and landfill – as single use glass bottles don’t even arrive onshore. This is a huge step forward, something we are extremely proud to be a part of.”