Alchemy Of Spirits

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Alchemy Of Spirits
Photograph: Shutterstock

For Jason Barber, a West Dorset dairy farmer in the UK, buying a cow also meant getting vodka for free. It began when Jason found himself thinking about the leftover whey from his cheese-making business. During these brainstorming sessions, he discovered a fascinating tidbit: Mongolians had been distilling drinks from the milk of various herd animals like horses, yaks, donkeys, and even reindeer. Following this old Mongolian recipe, Barber developed the idea for Black Cow Vodka in 2012. The secret behind this creamy concoction was cow’s whey, which has an abundance of natural sugars—perfect for fermentation. The process involved mixing whey with yeast, turning it into a frothy liquor. After three rounds of distillation and filtration, a “zero waste to wonderful taste” milk-based vodka was born. After a touch of vanilla syrup and a sprinkling of grated nutmeg, this unique concoction becomes an inspiring tale of how one man’s trash is another man’s gold.

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