Drink up your milk (vodka)

By December 12, 2016FOOD & DRINK, RECIPES

Behind the Scarlet Bar, we spend a lot of time searching out just the right spirits, teas and coffees to quench our customers’ thirst for beverages that are high quality, a little quirky, interesting and ethical. Which is why we serve Black Cow, the only vodka in the world made from milk.

What is Black Cow Vodka?

Pure Milk Vodka is the invention of West Dorset dairy farmer Jason Barber. He makes his vodka entirely from the milk of his grass-grazed cows and nothing else, and the fresh whole milk makes an exceptionally smooth vodka with a unique creamy character.

Black Cow came from Jason’s desire to diversify the produce from his 250 strong dairy herd, and a self-confessed deep personal interest in vodka.

Jason’s friend, Josef, happened to mention that tribes in Siberia have been making alcohol out of yak’s milk for centuries. Delving a little deeper, Jason discovered that that turning milk into booze has been a long-standing tradition in many parts of Asia and Russia.

“In all cold, arid climates where you can’t grow many vegetables or grains with much sugar content,” says Jason, “people have been managing to produce alcohol from their animals for thousands of years, because milk is a ready source of sugar.

“In Mongolia they use cow’s milk. In Tibet, they use yak’s milk, and on the Russian steppes they use mare’s milk. Basically, they ferment it into all sorts of different drinks.”

Forget turning water into wine, how does one turn milk into vodka?

Well, the milk is separated into curds and whey. The curds are used to make Black Cow cheese, the whey is fermented into a beer using a special yeast that converts the milk sugar into alcohol. This milk beer is then distilled and treated to Black Cow’s secret blending process. The vodka is then triple filtered and finished, before being hand bottled.

Mariella Frostrop is a big fan. “It’s the finest, smoothest, most velvety vodka I’ve ever tasted. It’s almost a shame to add a mixer. Black Cow could be the ruin of me!”

So, come drink up your Black Cow Milk Vodka at the Scarlet Bar, or mix yourself up a Christmassy milk vodka cocktail at home:


Invented by Harry Roper, Black Cow Vodka ambassador


Put all ingredients into a milk frothing jug or small saucepan. Heat by steaming through, or with gentle flame, until the liquid gives a light vapour.
Double strain into a tea-cup.
Garnish with dried fruit slice.
This cocktail has it all: fruitiness from the blood orange and cranberry, spice from the cloves and charged with vodka.

You will need:

40ml Black Cow
15ml Solerno
10ml Lime juice
80ml Cranberry juice
4 cloves