Ambergris is an incredibly rare and expensive product that serves as the most desirable ingredient in perfume. Just a few drops of the stuff can turn a good scent into a great one. It’s so valuable that people spend their lives searching for it, in fact some love it so much they’re adding it to high-end cocktails to make them even more luxe. Oh yeah, it’s also technically comes out of a whales butt.
I’ll back up. Ambergris is the intestinal secretion from sperm whales. They produce it to protect their insides from sharp shells, beaks, or bones that it might have swallow. The good news is once it leaves the whale it usually floats around for years, chilling out in the seawater means that by the time it’s found it has mellowed out a lot. In fact it smells strongly like the ocean, not anything—else.
Cocktail makers like Lee Zaremba at Billy Sunday are using the unique ingredient to make ambergris-laced palm sugar, which is then matched with malted rye whiskey, Spanish brandy, and orange bitters. The result is similar to an old fashioned, with the added briny essence you’ve always wanted.