Toasted Crickets in Your Cocktail: Critter Bitters
It's not just for your Halloween punch
As more people grow aware of the protein packed into crickets (and how sustainable and affordable it is to raise them, compared to livestock), eating them is becoming less of a novelty and more of a practical life choice—especially when they're made into tasty bars or chocolate cardamom cookies. While we might have a long way to go before seeing cricket burgers or salads on menus, Critter Bitters is a two-person start-up making it easier to put a few drops into your next cocktail.
They source organic, dry-roasted crickets from social enterprise Aspire (which won the $1 million Hult Prize in 2013 for its sustainable vision), which has an edible insect farm in Austin, Texas. "We infuse the crickets for about a month," co-founder Julia Plevin tells CH. "And yes—we've chosen the bittering agents that go into our bitters for their naturally medicinal properties. Just as bitters were once considered a medicine, we consider Critter Bitters a cure for our planet." The important part of their process in perfecting their bitters recipe was finding other ingredients that would highlight the cricket flavor—a uniquely rich, nutty taste—instead of masking it.
"Critter Bitters are great in any classic cocktail recipe that calls for bitters, such as a Manhattan or an Old Fashioned," says Plevin. "Since our mission is to start conversation around eating insects, we like to get groups of people together to try Critter Bitters and punches are great for that." Adventure, sustainability and an uncommon flavor, all packed into a small bottle.
A $25 pledge to the Critter Bitters' Kickstarter campaign gets you a bottle and access to a recipe e-book, though you'll have to survive the winter first: expected delivery is in May 2016.
Images courtesy of Critter Bitters