A Dorset farmer is producing vodka from milk in what he claims is a world first.
Dairy farmer Jason Barber invented his Black Cow vodka after wanting to diversify the produce from his 250-strong herd of cows, supported by his “deep personal interest” in the spirit.
The Beaminster farm’s pure milk vodka is made entirely from the milk of grass grazed cows and nothing else.
It is made after separating the milk into curds and whey, with the whey fermented into a beer using special yeast that converts the milk sugar into alcohol.
The milk beer is distilled and put through a secret blending process, and the vodka is then triple filtered and finished before being hand bottled.
The company said fresh whole milk made an “exceptionally smooth vodka with a unique creamy character”.
The vodka has no additives or flavourings, is gluten free and is suitable for those with lactose intolerance, as all the milk sugar has been converted into alcohol.
Black Cow co-founder Paul Archard said the company aimed to champion the work of British dairy farmers.
He said: “Often when we explain that Black Cow is vodka made from milk the reaction we get is ‘milk? Eugh.”‘
But the vodka has already won a gold medal at the prestigious San Francisco World Spirits Awards, as well as various other UK awards.
It has also won plaudits from chefs and critics, with restaurateur Mark Hix describing a martini made with the vodka as his “drink of choice” and food writer Tom Parker Bowles calling it “one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever tasted”.