A Queensland camel farm has created what could be the world’s first camel milk vodka.
Summer Land Camel Milk & Honey Vodka is the latest creation from the Summer Land Camel Farm in Harrisville, Queensland.
The spirit uses whey left over from making camel milk cheese, as well as honey from the farm’s on-site apiaries. It sells at the premium price of $495 a bottle.
Summer Land is home to more than 500 camels, with the herd milked daily and the results turned into gelato, Persian feta, a skincare range and now vodka.
CEO Jeff Flood told Trade & Investment Queensland: “We were aware of the whey vodka and gins produced in the UK with cow’s milk whey, and in Tasmania using sheep’s milk whey, and wanted to try use the camel milk whey, which is a by-product of our cheese production line.
“We also have this fantastic honey we are producing from our own apiary and thought Summer Land is like the fabled land of milk and honey, so why not make a milk and honey vodka?’
Flood, who has a background in biochemistry, teamed up winery Flinders Peak, using its distillery to craft the spirit.
He said the result “tastes smooth and sweet like a honey milkshake”.
“We’ve had some different experts taste it and it’s blown their minds. It’s absolutely sensational,” Flood added to The Courier Mail.
Summer Land produced its first batch of around 1500 bottles last year and have just finished the second batch, with around 1000 bottles destined for China, and interest coming from Hong Kong and Singapore.
Flood said the price of the spirit reflects the cost of creating it, with camel milk selling for anywhere between $18-$64/L, and honey costing in excess of $20/kg.
Health benefits of camel milk
According to Summer Land, camel milk is a potent anti-ageing and anti-oxident cell regenerator. It also contains up to 10 times more immune proteins and more vitamins and minerals than any other milk.
Camel milk has potent anti-inflammatory healing benefits for gut, skin and hair
It’s also a suitable dairy alternative, as it is the only animal milk containing no beta casein.
Following in the footsteps of award-winning Hartshorn
Five years ago, Tasmanian Ryan Hartshorn decided to start convert whey, a waste by-product from his family business – Grandvewe Cheeses – into vodka.
Hartshorn bought a still on eBay and started experimenting with distillation, teaching himself how to convert sheep whey into alcohol and seeking the right enzyme needed to ferment the sugars. Once he got his formulation right, he moved on to designing the packaging – he hand paints and writes on each bottle he sells.
“I used to work on cheese [through the day] and then came home to research distilling for two years. I read about a place in Ireland using cow whey, so figured it out myself,” he told the Examiner. ”This is the first vodka in the world made from sheep whey, and the bonus is it tastes good and reduces waste,” he said.
Hartshorn Distillery’s Sheep Whey Unfiltered Vodka won Best Varietal Vodka of Australia for the third year running at the World Vodka Awards 2019 in London.
The vodka also won World’s Best Vodka at the World Vodka Awards 2018 and Australian Beverage of the Year at the Food and Beverage Industry Awards in 2017.