Edible insects have not yet attained kale or avocado toast–level trendiness, but they continue to make progress toward mainstream eating and drinking. One place they have not appeared yet, though, is in cocktails. That’s about to change.
New York designers Julia Plevin and Lucy Knops first started making batches of Critter Bitters, a line of cocktail bitters made from crickets, in grad school. But in the last two years, as eating bugs piqued the interest of everyone from JetBlue to the United Nations, demand for the bitters grew to the point that Plevin and Knops had to scale up in a big way. So today they launched a Kickstarter to raise money for their increased production run.
The pair hopes that their bitters can serve as a bridge to help people hesitant to getting protein from six-legged sources. They say that the bitters add a pleasant, nutty touch to drinks, which is in keeping with the flavor profile of other dishes featuring an insect addition. Full disclosure, I’ve eaten crickets on several occasions and in several incarnations (the nuttiness works great in cricket cookies, not quite as well in cricket quiche crust).
Backers of the campaign can pick up two different bottles for their pledges—a bottle of toasted cricket bitters and a bottle of cricket tincture.
Crickets continue to be an easily farmed and (compared to things like beef) environmentally friendly way to get protein. So if you’re looking for a way to dip your toe into the world of edible insects, this is a safe place to start.