Spirits with shocking ingredients

17th April, 2019 by Nicola Carruthers

Lait de Romalea Bourbon

Earlier this month, US spirits producer Tamworth Distilling unveiled a grasshopper secretion-infused Bourbon.

Lait de Romalea Bourbon – which means ‘milk of grasshopper’ – is said to be a “surprisingly delightful Bourbon”, with a “floral, rosy and fruity” nose that leads to flavours of plum, berry and “subtle” tobacco on the palate.

The romalea exudate from the eastern lubber grasshopper is extracted in a similar fashion to how snakes are “milked” for anti-venom, using “tactile stimulation” of the grasshoppers’ abdomen with the thumb and forefinger to extract the secretion discharge.

Post-extraction, the ‘milk’ (or foam) is fermented with black tea leaves. The liquid is then refluxed in acidic ethanol to create the final chemical arrangements, before being dehydrated and infused into the Bourbon.

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