Ten to twenty years ago a flavored liquor was somewhat an oddity, but now adventurous drinkers can most likely find their favorite stipple in any manner of flavors. Vodka in recent years has seen the most noticeable boon in this boutique segment of the liquor market. Now connoisseurs can walk into any liquor store or their neighborhood bar and be treated with a mind-boggling array of flavors including birthday cake, hot pepper, cucumber, pumpkin pie, rainbow sherbet, and even Swedish fish. Well, make a little room on the vodka shelf because a new option has joined the herd. Welcome the Britain’s Black Cow Vodka.
What makes this entry into the liquor market worth of notice? Well, this vodka which was developed by a dairy farmer in West Dorset, England, is made from milk. In England, it seems that milk is becoming a hot commodity with stores rationing milk powder for babies and the unexpected use of breast milk in the making of jewelry. But Jason Barber’s new product is really attracting attention. Already in the short time Black Cow has been on the market it has garnered some high-profile fans. Current silver screen super spy Daniel Craig has joined the list of fans which includes actress Elizabeth Hurley and celebrity chefs Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and Heston Blumenthal who have adopted the unusual drink for use in their high-profile restaurants.
According to Barber he was looking for new products to market using his dairy farm of 250 cows. He already had the World Cheese Award-winning 1833 Cheddar to his credit, but was looking for more. His new vodka, which has received glowing write ups in British Vogue, New York Daily Times, Monocle, International Business News, and Britain’s Daily News, took three years to develop. The process begins with collecting the milk which is then separated into curds and whey. The curds are taken to produce cheese. A special yeast is added to the whey to convert the milk sugars to alcohol as it is fermented into a beer. The resulting beer is distilled using Barber’s secret process and triple-filtered into a unique creamy liquor.
“OK, so vodka made from milk doesn’t exactly sound enticing. But Black Cow Vodka is one of the most remarkable things I’ve ever tasted, wonderfully smooth and beautifully rounded. It’s made from the whey of proper Dorset milk and makes a Dirty Martini that you’ll never forget,” said the Daily News’ gourmet reviewer Tom Parker Bowles.
Barber said he got the idea from watching a documentary about Tuva, a tiny town in Siberia whose residents make a similar drink from yak’s milk. It also helped that Barber was also a big fan of vodka to begin with. “It’s the only drink that doesn’t give me a hangover,” he told the Daily News.
Black Cow Vodka has been stampeding into the British market with sales rising across the U.K. According to a corporate representative, Black Cow is available to U.S. buyers at a $35 per bottle price point. For comparison purposes, the Vermont Spirits Distilling Company has been on the market for a number of years with a similar product made from distilled milk sugars.