Critter Bitters are handcrafted cocktail bitters made with toasted crickets. There are four flavors in the product line: vanilla cricket, cacao cricket, toasted almond cricket, and -- for the most adventurous -- pure cricket. Each flavor yields a unique, multifaceted taste profile and can be readily mixed into cocktails or consumed with soda water. The corresponding coasters serve to elevate bitters from a hidden cocktail ingredient to the piece de resistance.
The UN FAO 2013 Report titled, “Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security,” inspired Lucy Knops and me to find a way to introduce insects to American culture. The report cited a need to overcome “the disgust factor” in order for western society to willingly consume insects.
With the insight that distillation, fermentation, and mixology are among the most creative industries and people are naturally more open-minded and experimental when they are drinking, it seemed most natural to normalize entomophagy through alcohol.
From scorpion vodka to cochineal made from beetles to mezcal with a worm, there is a precedent for insects in alcohol. Critter Bitters is a nod to an age-old tradition and a leap into the future.
In addition to food design and product design, Critter Bitters is also experience design. Guests at the unveiling of Critter Bitters enjoyed cocktails crafted by a professional bartender. While they may have thought they were uncomfortable consuming insects, the guests loved the drinks. Through a design process of distillation, we were able to remove the ick factor.
Critter Bitters have been featured on Food & Wine and Epicurious.
Funded by Awesome Without Borders (May 2014)