A London bar was recently busted for serving a whale infused cocktail. Hunting or transferring cetaceans, be they whale of dolphin, is strictly prohibited under EU law.
The cocktail in question was called the "Moby Dick." In a statement the bar, Nightjar, explained that the drink was prepared using a whiskey that had been infused with, "A single dried piece of whale skin (around 2 x 5 cm)."
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The bar goes on to explain that they dried whale flesh was procured by an employee who was visiting Japan. They also plead ignorance in regards to the law prohibiting the trade of whale parts. They vow to take, "All steps to make absolutely sure that in the future all ingredients on our menu are responsibly sourced."
The police are reported to have seized the questionable whale whiskey but no arrests have been made. Below is the full text of the bar's apology.
To all of our customers and any other interested parties,
On Monday 3rd December Nightjar was raided by the Met's Wildlife Unit. This was as a result of one of the ingredients in our Moby Dick cocktail. The contentious ingredient was 'whale skin infusion', which was derived from a single dried piece of whale skin (around 2 x 5 cm) that was bought in a supermarket in Japan last year by one of our employees. This small piece of skin stayed in a single bottle which was topped up with whisky over the course of the year, and used to flavour the drink. We are fully co-operating with the police in their enquiries.
Before the police visit, we weren't aware that the use of this ingredient was unlawful under the COTES legislation which underpins the protection of endangered animals throughout the EU. We unwisely assumed that since it was obtained lawfully in its country of origin, we were not contravening any laws.
In hindsight having this cocktail on our menu - regardless of the legal framework around such products or the quantity used - was a grave error in judgment. We'd therefore like to apologise wholeheartedly to anybody who may have been offended by it. We genuinely feel ashamed about our lack of due diligence around this and our insensitivity to public opinion, and have taken the decision to donate all proceeds from the sale of this cocktail to a whale conservation charity.
The drink has been entirely removed from our menu, which has been reprinted to reflect this. In addition, we will be taking all steps to make absolutely sure that in the future all ingredients on our menu are responsibly sourced.