Copenhagen – Non-profit-making Nordic Food Lab has collaborated with The Cambridge Distillery to create a gin with an unusual ingredient: 62 ants per bottle.
Eating insects has been a culinary experiment in the Western world recently, and we have seen worms in tequila for years, but using ants as part of the distillation process is a new proposition.
For their Anty Gin, Nordic Food Lab and The Cambridge Distillery distilled red wood ants, which produce a particular formic acid that is ‘a very reactive compound in alcohol, serving as an agent for producing various aromatic esters [chemical compounds]’, according to a press release. The chemical pheromones that these ants release are also the same molecules that humans perceive as aroma. The result is a gin with a distinctive aromatic flavour of the wood ant distillate as well as typical gin botanicals such as juniper berries and nettles.