Brooklyn-based startup Air Co. released “the world’s first carbon-negative vodka” on Thursday, with each bottle a result of the daily carbon intake of eight trees. As the label says, it’s “vodka made from air, water and sun.”
We know, in the world of a spirit as neutral as vodka, there are no shortage of gimmicks, but Air Co.’s bonafides are legit: already boasting commendations from NASA and the United Nations for their carbon-capturing distillation process. How do they do it? “We skip the entire fermentation process and are one machine that can fit in any given bedroom that does the same role, only faster and more efficient, with no impact to our environment, all run on solar power,” says founder Stafford Sheehan. It’s a process that has actually been around for decades, but Air Co. is the first to manage to produce a consumable spirit out of it.
It’s an interesting issue that Air Co. is solving, since in a world increasingly concerned with climate change, we often take for granted the sheer scale of the carbon footprint the beverage industry occupies. Though we’ve seen efforts for better packaging and more localized ingredients, Air Co.’s vodka clearly (no pun intended) takes these concerns to a new level.
All this sustainability and technological wizardry has a catch, of course. A 750ml bottle of Air Co.’s craft vodka will set you back about $65, which given the effort and intellect that goes into each bottle really isn’t all that bad.