12/10/2012 11:12 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Whale Skin Cocktail Raid: Bar Nightjar Busted By Police For Illegal Ingredient

An east London cocktail bar, Bar Nightjar, received a surprise visit from police on December 3 -- a raid following a tip that the bar was serving a cocktail made with whale skin.

Here's what it looked like:

whale cocktail

The above image looks to have originated on the bar's website, although it has since been removed.

Bar Nightjar quickly released a statement owning up to the drink, called the "Moby Dick," which was made with whisky infused with dried whale skin that a bar employee had purchased during a 2011 trip to Japan.

Unfortunately for Bar Nightjar, the cocktail violated a European Union ban on the hunting and trading of cetaceans like whales and dolphins.

The bar's director, Edmund Weil, stressed that no laws were knowingly broken and offered up a mea culpa:

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.

According to the Daily Mail, a Scotland Yard spokesman said authorities were tipped to the drink's existence in October. London's Wildlife Crime Unit assisted in the raid.

Under current EU law, only native Greenlanders are allowed to hunt whales -- but only in limited amounts. In recent years, Japan has caught flack from the global community over its pro-whaling stance.



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