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Drinking cocktails won't save the world, but eating insects might. Critter Bitters take the 'ick' factor out of eating insects.
Drinking cocktails won't save the world, but eating insects might. Critter Bitters take the 'ick' factor out of eating insects.
Drinking cocktails won't save the world, but eating insects might. Critter Bitters take the 'ick' factor out of eating insects.
464 backers pledged $25,477 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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Critter Bitters: Cocktail bitters made with toasted crickets

$25,477

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www.critter-bitters.com |Twitter @CritterBitters | Facebook /critterbitters 

"A very innovative project with a perfect link to cocktail heritage used to introduce the consumption of insects in an accessible way." — Core77

"While cricket-based bitters might not solve the food problem, the product could help overcome a psychological one." — Popular Science

Cocktail bitters, sometimes considered the salt and pepper of cocktails, are a bartender's best friend. Bitters add depths of flavor to drinks. They're also good for stimulating digestion before and after meals.

Critter Bitters are cocktail bitters with a bite. They're made with toasted crickets, which add a sweet, nutty note to drinks. 

And what's more, Critter Bitters are the gateway to eating insects. Over two billion people around the world already eat insects regularly. But for those of us who don't, the idea might be hard to swallow.

Instead of adopting other cultures' traditions of eating insects, Critter Bitters give us the liquid courage we need to spark our own insect-eating traditions.

In 2013, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) put out a report titled, "Edible Insects: Future Prospects for Food and Feed Security." The report noted that the global population, which is now more than seven billion, may grow to nine billion by 2050. And nearly one billion people regularly go hungry already.

Insects —a source of protein that require a fraction of the land, water, and feed as livestock — are considered the first viable solution to the impending food shortage.

Crickets are an energy and resource efficient source of protein.
Crickets are an energy and resource efficient source of protein.

Eating insects (known as entomophagy) is good for the planet. It's good for your health. And it's a great conversation starter at the bar.

 In Mexico, there's the "worm" in mezcal (it's actually a caterpillar) which was believed to bring good fortune and strength. Its origin is still debated and cynics might chalk it up to being a marketing gimmick, but it turns out the worm actually changes the drink's chemistry and makes it a real-life aphrodisiac! 

And in China, they first began infusing vodka with scorpions during the Western Zhou Dynasty. According to traditional Chinese medicine, this drink has the ability to reinvigorate a person. 

One more little known fact: From when the bottled cocktail Campari was first created by Gaspare Campari in the 1860s in Milan up until 2006, the drink got its signature red color from cochineal, a type of beetle. People have speculated why the makers switched to artificial coloring — Was it to appease vegans? Was the natural dye too expensive? Whatever the reason, experts agree that the post-2006 version is less complex. Maybe Gaspare Campari was just ahead of his time.

Campari originally got its signature red color from cochineal, a type of beetle.
Campari originally got its signature red color from cochineal, a type of beetle.

Flash forward to 2015 and we found that our friends are psyched to have bugs in their booze. They're more willing to try new things when it comes in a cocktail. And mixologists, who tend to be super creative, are always on the hunt for new flavors.

Up until this point, we've been making Critter Bitters in small batches at home. But there's some serious demand for Critter Bitters (More than we could have ever imagined when we first made the prototype in grad school).

Up until now, we've been making Critter Bitters in small batches at Lucy's apartment.
Up until now, we've been making Critter Bitters in small batches at Lucy's apartment.

So far, the bitters have fueled hackathons, won design awards, and flown to Milan for design week. We've been on panels about the future of food and about entomophagy. But we haven't been able to scale up our production so that we can share the bitters with everyone who wants them. 

In order to produce our first big run of Critter Bitters, we need some support. We're trying to figure out how many people want to try Critter Bitters.

For now, Critter Bitters are exclusively available on Kickstarter. This is your opportunity to be the first of your friends to get Critter Bitters, before they take the world by storm.

 If this Kickstarter is funded, we will be able to:

  • Refine and commercialize our recipe with the help of professional mixologists and distillers
  • Buy ingredients from the best quality manufacturing suppliers
  • Develop our packaging and create labels
  • Ensure regulatory compliance with labels and shipping costs

 Support our kickstarter. Do it for the planet. Do it to try something new. Do it to impress your girlfriend. And do it because they taste awesome.

The Supporter: 1 bottle of Critter Bitters and a recipe e-book

The Mixologist Kit: 2 Flavors of Critter Bitters and a recipe e-book

The Advo-Kit: 1 bottle of Critter Bitters + a tote bag + a recipe e-book

 The Maverick Kit: 2 flavors of Critter Bitters + a tote bag + a recipe e-book

 The Best Friend Kit: Two sets of all the things and your name on our website

The Wholesaler Kit: 18 bottles of Critter Bitters + a recipe e-book to share

The Socialite Kit: The Best Friend Kit + a hangout sesh with the founders

The Party Starter: The Advo-Kit + a Critter Bitters Punch Party

The World-Changer Kit: Design for Culture Change workshop + The Best Friend Kit

We are Lucy Knops and Julia Plevin. We're NYC and SF-based designers who met in graduate school. Lucy is a seasoned bartender and Julia is a globe-trotting adventurer. We're passionate about making complicated issues digestible.

Lucy Knops

Lucy is a multidisciplinary designer who seeks to challenge social norms through her work. She pulls from over 10 years of experience living and working in NYC in the fashion and design community and as a bartender. She holds a BA in History from New York University and a MFA from the Products of Design program at The School of Visual Arts.

Julia Plevin

Julia is a designer, strategist, and writer with a keen eye for innovation and a passion for culture change. She received a BA from Dartmouth College in 2009 and a MFA from The School of Visual Arts in 2015. She's worked at startup magazines and technology companies and most recently at IDEO and SYPartners. 

The New Yorker  | Popular Science | The Telegraph | Epicurious | Food & Wine | Chicagoist | Cool Hunting | Mashable | PSFK | Gizmodo | Core77

Risks and challenges

As designers, we create a lot of concepts, but rarely get the opportunity to bring our products to market. Creating a prototype is one thing, but delivering a finished product is quite another! We've been working hard to mitigate potential problems, but setbacks happen.

We promise to be fully transparent about any unexpected challenges. Here's some potential challenges we will have to overcome:

Product changes: As we continue to improve our bitters, it's possible that we might tweak the recipe.

Supply Chain: We're working with a variety of partners (cricket farms, distilleries etc.) and a problem that affects them could affect us.

Shipping Date: We've chosen the estimated shipping date to allow for potential delays but we can't predict everything.

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Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    THE COMMUNITY-BUILDER: THANK YOU TWEET

    Thank you for your support! We could not do this without you. We'll show our gratitude with a handcrafted tweet and you'll join the list to be the first to know about all things Critter Bitters.

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    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    THE EARLY BIRD: BOTTLE OF CRITTER BITTERS + RECIPE E-BOOK

    The first 100 backers get a special deal on a 4 oz bottle of Critter Bitters plus a recipe e-book featuring our favorite ways to use Critter Bitters. Thanks for helping us get this campaign rolling!

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    Reward no longer available 100 backers
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    Pledge $30 or more About $30

    THE SUPPORTER: BOTTLE OF CRITTER BITTERS + A RECIPE E-BOOK

    The real deal, available exclusively on Kickstarter. You will receive a 4 oz bottle of Critter Bitters plus a recipe e-book featuring our favorite ways to use Critter Bitters. Be the first of your friends to taste our handcrafted cocktail bitters made with toasted crickets.

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    Pledge $60 or more About $60

    THE MIXOLOGIST KIT: 2 FLAVORS OF CRITTER BITTERS + A RECIPE E-BOOK

    In addition to a 4 oz bottle of Critter Bitters, you will receive a 4 oz bottle of Critter Bitters PURE CRICKET Tincture and a recipe e-book featuring our favorite ways to use Critter Bitters.

    (PURE CRICKET is technically a tincture made from just one flavoring ingredient: toasted crickets. This is perfect for the cocktail connoisseur who wants to understand the unadulterated flavor profile of crickets.)

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    76 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $80 or more About $80

    THE ADVO-KIT : BOTTLE OF CRITTER BITTERS + A CRITTER BITTERS TOTE BAG + A RECIPE E-BOOK

    In addition to a 4 oz bottle of Critter Bitters, you will receive a limited edition Critter Bitters tote bag designed by us and printed by Print All Over Me. You'll also get a recipe e-book featuring our favorite ways to use Critter Bitters.

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    15 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $110 or more About $110

    THE MAVERICK KIT: 2 FLAVORS OF CRITTER BITTERS + A CRITTER BITTERS TOTE BAG + A RECIPE E-BOOK

    In addition to a 4 oz bottle of Critter Bitters, you will receive a 4 oz bottle of Critter Bitters PURE CRICKET Tincture and and a limited edition Critter Bitters tote bag designed by us and printed by Print All Over Me. You'll also get a recipe e-book featuring our favorite ways to use Critter Bitters.

    (PURE CRICKET is technically a tincture made from just one flavoring ingredient: toasted crickets. This is perfect for the cocktail connoisseur who wants to understand the unadulterated flavor profile of crickets.)

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    Ships to Only United States
    17 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $220 or more About $220

    THE BEST FRIEND KIT: TWO SETS OF ALL THE THINGS + YOUR NAME ON OUR WEBSITE

    Two bottles of 4 oz Critter Bitters + two bottles of 4 oz Critter Bitters PURE CRICKET Tincture + two Critter Bitters tote bags + a recipe e-book featuring our favorite ways to use Critter Bitters. And we'll add your name to our list of supporters on our website!

    (PURE CRICKET is technically a tincture made from just one flavoring ingredient: toasted crickets. This is perfect for the cocktail connoisseur who wants to understand the unadulterated flavor profile of crickets.)

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    Ships to Only United States
    6 backers
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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    TTHE WHOLESALER KIT: 18 BOTTLES OF CRITTER BITTERS + RECIPE E-BOOK

    No fuss, just the good stuff! 18 4 oz bottles of Critter Bitters for you to share however you would like to! Feel free to share the e-book featuring our favorite ways to use the bitters, too.

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    4 backers
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    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    THE SOCIALITE KIT: THE BEST FRIEND KIT + HANGOUT SESH WITH THE FOUNDERS

    The best friend kit includes two bottles of 4 oz Critter Bitters + two bottles of 4 oz Critter Bitters PURE CRICKET Tincture + two Critter Bitters tote bags + a recipe e-book featuring our favorite ways to use Critter Bitters + we'll add your name to our list of supporters on our website!

    The hangout sesh includes drinks with Julia and Lucy at one of our favorite spots in NYC, SF, or LA (or skype if you're not able to meet us IRL). (Travel and accommodations are not included).

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    Pledge $1,500 or more About $1,500

    THE PARTY ANIMAL: A CRITTER BITTERS PUNCH PARTY + ADVO-KIT

    We’ll mix a Critter Bitters punch for your next party of up to 25 friends in NYC or SF —location to be decided.

    You’ll also get a bottle of Critter Bitters, a tote bag, and the recipe e-book.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    THE WORLD-CHANGER: DESIGN FOR CULTURE CHANGE WORKSHOP + BEST FRIEND KIT

    Bring 5 of your best friends to NYC for an all-day design workshop with the co-founders of Critter Bitters and industry professionals. You'll learn what it takes to design for culture change and how to design the next Critter Bitters. (Great food and drinks are included, travel and lodging are not.)

    The Best Friend Kit includes two bottles of 4 oz Critter Bitters + two bottles of 4 oz Critter Bitters PURE CRICKET Tincture + two Critter Bitters tote bags + a recipe e-book featuring our favorite ways to use Critter Bitters + we'll add your name to our list of supporters on our website!

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Funding period

- (28 days)