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Forget lime wedges, lemon twists and little pink umbrellas -- the latest cocktail garnish craze has six (or eight) legs and a crunchy finish.
At high-end bars in the United States and United Kingdom, bartenders are crafting cocktails with ingredients like crickets, tarantulas, scorpions and even giant ants.
The Artesian bar at the Langham hotel in London has been serving up their Langham Tea Punch for just over a year. The ingredients include Courvoisier cognac, Japanese sencha tea and an oven-baked tarantula and scorpion. Just last month, the bar upped the ante by introducing their Vieux Carre cocktail, which pairs cognac and rye whiskey with a side of toasted Colombian giant ants and Mopani worms. Both cocktails cost £16.50
“The drinks are a great talking point since insects aren’t a typical source of nutrition in the UK,” said Artesian head barman Alex Kratena, who noted the cocktails are usually ordered in groups. “Some insects get toasted, which brings the drink extra flavour and some are used for decorative purposes. Most are rather tasty!”
Stateside, White and Church in New York City serves up a trio of insect cocktails, including a cinnamon-flavoured rum paired with honeybees, a margarita-like drink with Mexican spicy worms, and a Batida de Cocco drink with heavy cream and dried grasshoppers. The drinks ring up at $13 each.
Brave enough to drink up and chow down? A single bug can provide 10 to 20 grams of protein, offering a nice nutritional boost in addition to the more usual buzz.