An occasionally neglected fact of conservation is the encroachment of invasive species. Some non-native animals can wind up consuming all available resources for endangered species, and sometimes the endangered species themselves. This was the case with the lionfish, which Florida fishers addressed by doubling down on hunting the invader and barbeques.
Now, New Hampshire is using a similar strategy with invasive European green crabs, but it’s using them in a whiskey.
Tamworth Distilling of Tamworth, North Carolina is infusing its whiskey with the European green crab, for its popular briny aroma.
“It has crab on the nose, for certain,” Steven Grasse, owner of Tamworth Distilling, said of the taste, as reported by Forbes. Grasse said that the Crab Trapper whiskey’s taste is like “a briny and better Fireball.”
Tamworth Distilling developed this whiskey as part of the New Hampshire Green Crab Project, which aimed to utilize the invasive crabs for commercial purposes to reduce their population.
“What we are left with is a liquid that by its nature defies categorization,” Grasse explained. “It is not meant to be slammed as a shot at a frat party. It is meant to be sipped, shared and explored with friends who enjoy detail and depth in their lives.”
European green crabs are non-native to New Hampshire and are one of the most invasive species around the world. They have been known to destroy seagrass meadows and even eat young salmon and king crabs. Each bottle of Crab Trapper has about two of these invasive critters and costs about $65.
“We are raising awareness of the problem in a way that is fun and interesting, but it also shows that through creativity and gumption, we can turn these pesky critters into a tasty treat,” Grasse said. “We want more brave souls in the culinary arts to rise to the challenge: Defeat the enemy by eating them!”