Invasive species can cause absolute chaos in local ecosystems, and one small creature doing exactly this is the green crab. In the 1800s, the green crab hitched a ride on European merchant ships to New England. To this day, 200 years later, this invasive species is destroying estuaries and kelp beds, and devouring clams and mussels (which are a key food source for other species).
How do you manage a destructive invasive species? A New Hampshire company called Tamsworth Distillery suggests that we drink think them in the form of whiskey (news from NPR).
The green crabs are caught off the coast of New Hampshire, and then the distillery uses them to create a crab stock. The stock is then infused with a variety of spices and then blended with bourbon. The final product is called “Crab Trapper”, and here’s how Tamsworth describes it:
Crab Trapper is made with a bourbon base steeped with a custom crab, corn, and spice blend mixture, best likened to a Low Country Boil. The crab is present lightly on the nose, accompanied by coriander and bay to smooth out any high notes. The body carries hints of the maple and vanilla oak notes lent from the full-bodied base. The spirit finishes with heavier notes of clove, cinnamon, and allspice, leaving a light, pleasant spice on the palate.
Is Crab Trapper whiskey going to solve the issue of green crabs wreaking havoc in the ecosystem? Not necessarily. But hey, it’s a good place (and a very creative way) to start tackling the invasive species issue and raise consumer awareness around it.