If you overlook the spelling you could believe that Paul Mc Cartney (long before he was discovered by Kanye West) had started this Anty Gin thing. I mean he did say “Uncle Michael, Auntie Gin, open the door and let ‘em in” in his Wings ear-worm from 1976, somehow weirdly foretelling the arrival of this wacky drink 40 years later! Note also he foretold all this using an “earworm” not exactly an insect but you can see the connection.
Of course the use of insects in food and drink manufacturing is nothing new. You may not know it but cochineal extract or powdered insect dye is used widely as a food and lipstick colorant. The cochineal is a fascinating insect found on Cacti which produces carmine or carminic acid and uses this oddly enough to repel ants! Which brings us neatly (pardon the pun) back to the gin.
Actually it may not be such a bad thing to have insects in drink and food. If they didn’t use insects God knows what they would use to colour things. At least this is organic. Anty Gin is the result of a collaboration between The Cambridge Distillery and The Nordic Food Lab. Each bottle of gin contains the essence of approximately 65 red wood ants or Formica rufa to give them their scientific name and each bottle of Anty Gin comes with a 50 ml bottle of pure wood ant distillate. At 200- a bottle and only 99 bottles per production run it’s unlikely to show up in your local off licence. What does one do with a 50 ml bottle of pure wood ant distillate? I’m afraid I don’t know the ant sir to that.
( Never drive after drinking. I’ll repeat that, under no circumstances should you drive after drinking any kind of alcohol even if it is made from red wood ants).