When it comes to ants, we thought we’d heard it all. Ants in your pants. Chocolate covered ants. Deep-fried ants… heck, we’ve even seen ants in lollipops. But we’ve never seen ants in booze before. Until now, that is.
The Cambridge Distillery and the Copenhagen-based Nordic Food Lab have upped the ant game by creating a new line of gin cleverly named Anty Gin, a brand that has been — you guessed it — flavoured with ants. (And you thought swallowing that tequila worm was brave.)
These aren’t just any old ants. According to the companies, they’ve collected more than 6,000 Formica rufa, a.k.a. red wood ants, which are found in forests in the Northern Hemisphere. What makes them so special? Apparently these creatures communicate via chemical pheromones, and commune to create complex communities in large mounds. They defend these “ant hills” by producing formic acid in their abdomens, and spray it when an intruder approaches. The formic acid reacts well to the compounds in alcohol and adds a distinctive flavour.
The result is said to be an aromatic and tasty adventure for any gin connoisseur. Sixty-two red wood ants’ worth of taste and aroma, to be exact, as that’s how many ants on average go into a 700 mL bottle of the stuff. (They’re coupled with other flavours like wood, nettle and juniper berries.)
— Anty Gin (@antygin) November 25, 2014
If you want to get your hands on a bottle of your own, however, you’d better act fast. The companies only produced 99 bottles for its first run, as part of a campaign to showcase that insects are a viable source of food and flavour too.
The good news is that you can get a bottle shipped to Canada for the low, low price of £250 — that’s roughly $475 Canadian, for those keeping count. And it comes with a small bonus: a 50 mL Ant Distillate dropper.
Too pricey? You can do what we do, and just enjoy your ants the old fashioned way: by singing about them marching two-by-two while consuming a martini glass of gin with a little lemon twist. Bug-free.