I love gin, and I’m trying to decide if I want to try Anty Gin, a new collaborative gin from The Nordic Food Lab and The Cambridge Distillery in the United Kingdom. They call it a “somewhat different gin,” but “somewhat” is an understatement.
Anty Gin is flavored with formic acid from the abdomens red wood ants, which “holds delicious potential.” The ants are foraged in the forest of Kent. (When you’re searching for something alive, is it truly foraging? Or is it hunting?) Each bottle of this English wheat gin will have the “essence” of about 62 ants as well as foraged botanicals. This is for real. It's not from a sketch on "Portlandia."
Truly small batch, only 99 bottles of this gin have been produced, and distillation is “carried out just one litre at a time. The gin is bottled by hand and the labels are typed out on a 1924 typewriter. It’s a hipster’s dream gin. I'm sure the gin would make a wonderfully ironic Bees Knees cocktail.
William Lowe from The Cambridge Distillery told the Telegraph, "The result is a spectacular, one-of-a-kind gin that is being very well received worldwide. People are astounded at how good it tastes. It's expensive because it's so labour intensive — Anty Gin was almost a year in the making."
He also commented that one of the reasons for making the gin was to open more minds to the possibility of using insects for food and for flavor. I believe people are becoming more open to the idea of insects as food, particularly as a sustainable source of protein. (After years of saying I didn’t think I would ever purposely eat an insect, last fall I intentionally ate a cricket.)
I never thought about using insects for flavor, but it makes sense. We already use them for protein and for the red food dye carmine, so of course they must have some sort of taste, right?
The more I think about it, the more I realize I want to try this gin. Unfortunately, while there are some bottles still available, it can’t be imported to the U.S. And even if it could be imported, the price (about $306) would be a bit prohibitive for me.
Would you try Anty Gin?
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