Here comes the world's first ever craft gin made with giant water bugs, out of Gifu prefecture's adventurous Tatsumi Distillery.
The distillery has linked up with Antcicada--of cricket ramen fame--to develop "Alchemie The bug gin Giant water bug" which uses only giant water bugs and juniper as botanicals. The bugs are imported to Japan from Thailand, where they are already a regular part of cuisine in the northeastern regions, as well as much of the rest of the Indochina Peninsula.
Before going into the distillation, the giant water bugs are pre-processed to maximize their aroma. No, I don't know what that really means, and I probably don't want to know.
The bottles don't feature any actual bug body parts or even bug livery, as the team wanted to place focus solely on the aromas, rather than the insect. The team at Antcicada is a proponent of using insects in food and drink, but they want them to be treated as standard ingredients, rather than as some gimmick.
That aroma is reportedly fruity and tropical, which goes nicely with gin's default botanical, juniper. Since the bugs used are all male, they also have a hint of buggy pheromones. Tasting notes ought to be quite interesting...
Two giant water bugs are used per bottle of gin. Before you bug out, keep in mind that finding this one in the wild may be bordering on impossible -- it's not being sold to the public and will only be offered as individual servings at special events and the like.
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Whiskey Richard is the founder of nomunication.jp, and has been saying he has lived in Japan for ten years for the past four years. He enjoys drinking basically anything except straight-up Campari.