I remember learning that Twinkies are one of the few foods that would survive a nuclear blast – and apparently, they can also be used to make vodka. Mind. Blown. San Diego-based Misadventure & Co. is using Twinkies, as well as other discarded or expired bakery products to make liquor. We’re into it.
Misadventure is run by Sam Chereskin and Whitney Rigali, who rescue Ho Hos, baguettes and crullers, among other high-carb items. Vinepair points out that vodka can be made out of any ingredient as long as there’s enough sugar or starch (remember black eyed pea vodka?), so this kind of makes perfect sense.
Every week, Chereskin picks up more than 1,000 pounds of these bread products at a San Diego food bank – the food bank can no longer give these items away once they pass their expiration date, even though they’re still usable. From there, the two starch-minded scientists create a mash from the assorted throwaways, incorporating yeast to consume the sugars and create alcohol. That fermented product can then be distilled into vodka.
Outside of fulfilling a nearly universal love for alcohol, Chereskin and Rigali are environmentally and economically minded. Since they get all the bakery items from the food bank for free, their production costs are incredibly low, ultimately creating an affordable product. “If food waste were a country, it would be the third largest contributor of greenhouse gases behind the United States and China,” Chereskin told NBC San Diego. “In 2014, the amount of food wasted could fill the Empire State Building 90 some times.” According to their website, Misadventure & Co. had these good intentions from the very start, and is continuing to carry them out. “Whit, the bartender wanted to create local craft spirits. Sam, the agricultural economist, wanted to find ways to improve food systems and show that doing good can also be viable. We desire to make quality spirits that everyone can enjoy, and create them sustainably.”
Has there ever been a reason to have a drink? Chereskin put it best in a recent interview, saying that “I have a reason to get up in the morning that goes beyond having a drink, but I get to have that too. So, it’s a pretty fun day.”
If you’re in San Marcos, CA, you can take a tour and get a closer look at the brewing process, or you can enjoy a cocktail made with Misadventure’s vodka at a number of California dining and drinking establishments. Come to the East Coast quickly, please!
Photo courtesy of Misadventure & Co.