“We’re no longer citizens, we’re consumers,” pointed out Patagonia founder and owner Yvon Chouinard at Ventura College on Earth Day, April 22, 2019. “Webster’s says someone who’s a consumer is someone who destroys.”
Chouinard’s agenda these days has less to do with selling fleece and making money and more to do with saving the planet.
To do so, Chouinard’s passionate about regenerative agriculture which shares many of the same goals and techniques as biodynamic agriculture which I’ve written about many times this year.
To that end, Choiunard has funded several regenerative projects including Wes Jackson and the Land Institute’s pursuit of prairie grasses with long roots that can be used to make Patagonia’s “Long Root” ale.
Chouinard also told students he thinks people should read books, vote for politicians who will take care of our planet, and invest in educating women in third world countries.
He argued passionately that we all must do what we can to address climate change: we must from reduce emissions, increase the scale of conservation of protected natural areas to serve as carbon sinks, and increase the scale of regenerative farming and grazing.
Patagonia as a company is committed to saving the planet– it’s even in their mission statement.
But what Chouinard has learned over the years is he can’t make enough change through his leadership in the clothing business — but he can make a difference in the way that food is grown.
According to Chouinard, the most important solution to addressing climate change and saving the planet is through regenerative agriculture which is healthier for the planet and for people too because it replaces missing nutrition from commercial ag, including micro-nutrients. Regenerative agriculture:
- tastes better because there’s a direct correlation between taste and nutrients.
- takes organic way further
- makes it as simple as possible
- is better at sequestering carbon
How can a product do less harm but do more good?
“I’ve often said there’s no difference between a pessimist who says don’t bother and an optimist who says it’s fine don’t bother doing anything,” says Yvon Choiunard.
To save the planet will take a different kind of consumer — and a different kind of investor. As Chouinard pointed out, his company is private so he can spend his $10 million that he got from Trump’s tax cut on fighting Trump’s policies that harm the earth.
That’s why, as much as possible, I am buying and writing about wines that are biodynamic and organic. And that’s why I’m investing in Absinthia’s Organic Absinthe.
While it is not completely biodynamic or a certified biodynamic spirit, it is certified organic and always will be, and as best she can, she will continue to use biodynamically grown ingredients as well.
From now until the rest of the month you can put your money where your mouth is when it comes to supporting a woman owned, organic, biodynamic spirits business — in this case, an absinthe called Absinthia created by Absinthia Vermut. You can invest with as little as $100.
From the investment page: “Absinthia’s Bottled Spirits, a woman owned business, produces organic absinthe with certified organic herbs and biodynamic grape alcohol, presented in beautiful screen printed bottles. Sugar in your absinthe glass? Never! This absinthe is naturally sweet, delicious, and easy to drink.”
There you’ll also learn that her mission statement includes: “Absinthia Organic Absinthe is made in the traditional Swiss style using California grown organic biodynamic grapes and Oregon grown organic wormwood, anise, fennel, and coriander. High-quality ingredients are a must for a high-quality spirit and a better environment.
And yep, that’s her real name: Absinthia Vermut. She changed her first name legally, yes, but Vermut– which is wormwood in German– is her actual birth certificate name.
J. Absinthia Vermut, MBAFounder Absinthia Organic AbsintheCoFounder Nickel Dime cocktail syrupsInstagram: @absinthia_absintheTwitter: @absinthia
For about 15 or 16 years now I’ve known Abs (that’s her nickname but she has them also because she is really into this martial arts called Muay Thuy or something like that). We met online because we were both part of a group of pregnant moms who go to Burning Man and then we were/are part of the Burning Moms group.
But we’re not just online friends– we’ve connected a few times in real life even though she lives in Oakland and I’m closer to Los Angeles. And I’ve been following her absinthe journey from bootlegger to legit.
Recently on my trip to Napa and Sonoma, we passed through Oakland and met up with Abs for cocktails and dinner at the Sidebar which carries Absinthia’s Absinthe as well as the cocktail syrups that Abs developed with bar manager Jared Hirsch (see photos above).
She also made this drink that shows off the “louche” — the beautiful green hue– which she recently featured in an email:
Traditional French Louche
1 oz Absinthia Organic Absinthe
2 – 3 oz ice cold water to taste
Pour the absinthe into the glass. Slowly pour the ice water into the glass, looking for a rich, blue-white color to emerge. This is the louche, caused by the anise. More water will dilute the flavor, less water will make it taste stronger.
At the end of the evening, I had my checkbook ready and I tried to give her a $100 bill but she couldn’t take it — since her Absinthe is alcoholic, all investments have to go through a SEC approved process which she is accepting though the end of the month of May. Check it out!
If you’ve never invested before, no worries. Keep in mind that this is no spend $75 for a $40 hoodie crowdfund campaign. You are actually invested in this Absinthia business which means you can earn dividends as the absinthe business earns revenue.
With a minimum investment of just $100, Abs calls this “Radical Inclusion Investing” — and she has great perks at the $10k and $20k level. Depending on your income level, you can invest up to $107k.
How does this work? Say thanks to President Obama! Abs explains that the “Obama 2012 Jobs Act of the United States allows for a greater scope of investors to invest via crowdfunding. Investment crowdfunding is a way to source money for a company by asking a large number of backers to each invest a relatively small amount in it. In return, backers receive equity, debt, or revenue shares of the company. You can learn more here.”
“Time is running out,” warns Abs. “The round is almost over so please invest today and help this organic absinthe find its way out into the world!”
If you’re not ready to invest, join the emailing list and learn what’s happening with the product and get cocktail recipes too! There are more than 100 recipes on her website.
If you know someone who manages a bar or sells alcohol, Absinthia would love to hear from you! She’s coming to Los Angeles and is booking tastings and meetings in June with a public tasting June 14th at Bar Keeper in Silverlake. Then she’ll be inNew Orleans for Tales of the Cocktail July 17-21, where she’s a sponsor of Meet the Distiller and the Dame’s Luncheon.