This cocktail is inspired by the genus Ardistomis, a genus of carabid beetles in the tribe Clivinini. As with all carabid beetles, Ardistomis produces defensive chemicals to deter predators (Attygalle et al., 2009). Ardistomis and related genera have a particularly interesting chemical they secrete, limonene, which is the major oil in citrus fruit peel. If you have ever eaten an orange around a dog or cat, and watched their reaction as the peel is bent, releasing the oil into the air, you will know that it is an oil vertebrates tend to avoid. In fact, limonene is the active ingredient in some dog and cat repellents.

Ardistomis also has 1,8-cineole as a major component of their defensive secretions; this chemical is also known as eucalyptol. It turns out that 1,8-cineole is a major component of cardamom.

  • 2 oz gin
  • 0.5 oz cardamom-infused vodka
  • 1/4 tsp simple syrup [optional]

shake on ice, pour into a martini glass, then add to the top:

  • a small amount (1/2 tsp or less) of pure lemon oil, e.g., Boyajian (ideally the pure stuff, not the stuff diluted in ethanol)
  • a twist of lemon peel


Attygalle A.B., Wu X., Maddison D.R., Will K.W. 2009. Orange/lemon-scented beetles: opposite enantiomers of limonene as major constituents in the defensive secretion of related carabids. Naturwissenschaften, 96: 1443-1449.