Jason Barber, a dairy farmer from West Dorset, has become the first person to produce a successful blend of vodka and milk. If reports are to be believed, James Bond is a big fan. Barber's concoction, it appears, has won over Hollywood star Daniel Craig!
Barber says the idea came to him when he was watching a television documentary about residents of a small town in Tuva, in Siberia, who fermented yaks' milk into vodka.
The West Dorset pure milk vodka - Black Cow - has now become a staple at critically acclaimed restaurants owned by British chefs Heston Blumenthal and Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. And it isn't just the suave and stylish 007 who's been converted. British actress and model Elizabeth Hurley is also fond of the milk vodka, which is said - perhaps unsurprisingly - to have a creamy texture.
The 47-year-old Barber relies on milk from his herd of 250 cows. This is then separated into curds and whey.
The former is made into cheese and the latter is fermented into beer (using special yeast) to convert the milk sugar into alcohol. After the beer milk is distilled, it is subject to a secret blending process. The vodka is then triple-filtered and hand-bottled.
The entire process took three years to perfect and prepare for commercial consumption.
A sixth-generation farmer, Barber said the unique vodka was also a function of his personal interest in this particular form of alcohol. He says it is the only drink that doesn't give him a hangover.
Barber has a long history of making his own drinks: he was thrown out of school for making a brew from fermented orange juice and storing it in unused school cellars.
According to the official website, Black Cow Vodka is made from the same milk used to make Barber's 1833 cheddar cheese, which won the World Cheese Awards Cheddar Trophy in 2012. The site also indicates that a 70cl bottle costs £27.85 and a 50cl bottle £22.85.