West Dorset dairy farmer Jason Barber is creating quite a stir with his Black Cow Vodka – launched last May.
The world’s first pure milk vodka is made entirely from the milk of grass grazed cows and nothing else.
It might sound a bit odd – but nomads in Siberia have been making alcohol from fermented mare’s milk to help fend off the chill of long, cold winters for centuries. Following in their footsteps, young Mr Barber has developed an exceptionally smooth vodka with a unique creamy character.
The milk from the 250-cow herd is separated into curds and whey. The curds are made into prize-winning cheeses – including Ford Farm Wooky Hole cave-aged Cheddar, and Barbers 1833 Cheddar – winner of the World Cheese Awards Cheddar Trophy in 2012.
The whey is fermented to make milk beer using a special yeast that converts milk sugar into alcohol. This is then distilled and blended according to Jason’s secret recipe before being triple filtered, finished and bottled by hand.
The distinctive ‘gold-top milk bottle’ is distinctive and different – with its happy dancing-cow logo.
“It’s all about happy cows and the secret blending process,” says Jason on his website www.blackcow.co.uk.
I’d like to think the fabulous Dorset pasture has something to do with it too! No grass – no milk – no vodka!!
PS. Top foodies like Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall (when not fighting for fish) and restaurateur Mark Hix, have been quick to extol the virtues of Black Cow Vodka, using it in original recipes to make ‘Hot Butter Vodka’ and a ‘Bloody Black Cow Tomato Dish’.
It’s also been served in martinis for Bond actor Daniel Craig – but is also lovely on its own with tonic!
PPS. For more details and stockists visit http://www.blackcowvodka.co/where-to-buy/