WTF – A cricket infused drink

By Andy Hamilton


Ingredients:

A cricket infused drink based on the flavour profile of a Negroni – sort of! What you’ll need: Crickets / Borurbon / Campari / Casis / Bitters / Blackcurrants

  • 1 part cricket infused bourbon
  • 1 part Campari
  • 5 parts creme de casis
  • 4 dashes orange bitters

Method:

Stir all the ingredients over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a whole (dead) cricket if available.


Foraging notes:

To many the thought of eating insects is abhorrent, yet to people like entomologist Marcel Dicke from the University of Wageningen in The Netherlands, it is our possible food future. He sees insects as an ecological alternative to meat an alternative that can be created in abundance at very little cost to the planet, unlike its methane farting bovine counterpart.

Adding insects to drinks is nothing new. In his TED talk Dicke points out that Campari drinkers have been drinking insects for centuries, as this Milanese aperitif gets its colour from crushed Cochineal beetles. The difference being in WTF, the insect – in this case the cricket- is added for flavour rather than colour.

When you roast crickets you get a similar flavour to fried steak, porter beer or biscuits. It’s a kind of roasted umami flavour that comes when a food has undergone a Maillard reaction. The reaction named after French Chemist Louis-Camille Maillard who was trying to examine what happens when amino acids react with sugar at elevated temperatures. In the process, new flavour compounds are created which in turn break down and create even more flavour compounds and the results can be very tasty indeed!