Friday, March 23, 2018

From sheep whey to vodka

Turn water to wine? How about sheep whey to vodka? Hartshorn Distillery in Birchs Bay, Tasmania is doing exactly that. This week we attended a local business function hosted by the Kingborough & Huon Business Enterprise Centre. Owner and head distiller Ryan Hartshorn had the idea to turn a byproduct of his family's business Grandvewe Cheese, whey from sheep milk, into vodka and gin. We had a tour of the premises (I was happy to scratch the chin of one of their friendly sheep) followed by a tasting. The fermented whey is distilled in the pot still (pictured right) and to make gin, the spirit is distilled through the beautiful glass reflux still pictured below, passing through a blend of secret herbs and spices (well, botanicals) including some local Tasmanian flowers and leaves. Ryan even paints each bottle by hand, resulting in a truly ewe-nique product that would make a lovely gift from Tassie. I liked the "whisky-like" barrel aged vodka, so I bought a bottle to take home. P.S. For more sheepish humour courtesy of Grandvewe, see below.

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