When Ryan Hartshorn realised his family’s cheesery was struggling financially, he decided to take matters into his own hands. He bought a still on eBay and taught himself how to use whey, a waste by-product of the cheese-making process, to make vodka.
This year, Hartshorn Distillery has become the first in Australia to take home the prestigious World’s Best Vodka in the World Vodka Awards 2018.
It’s the only known vodka in the world to incorporate sheep’s whey – whey to go!
“We were all living on not a lot of money and I thought I’m going to be proactive and grow my own business that related to our cheeses,” Ryan told The Weekly Times.
It certainly paid off, as less than two years later, sales of the vodka outstripped those of his family’s cheese. The young entrepreneur helped the business turn over $350,000 annually, up 600% on his first year of trade. He was also named Tasmania’s 2017 Young Innovator of the Year.
The official tasting note from the World Vodka Awards judges stated that it is “sweet on the nose. Mild fruity notes, caramel and sweet buttery taste. Gentle spicy finish.”
Unlike salted caramel gin, this is a drink we can easily get our hands on – it’s available in Dan Murphy’s and boutique bottle shops across the country. We’ve also heard Ryan has added gin to the line-up, which we know Foodiful readers will be eager to try…
Sydney-based Hannah Oakshott is a tea-obsessed pop culture enthusiast who can usually be found showing people pictures of her two miniature schnauzers or baking sweet, lemony food. Hannah is on Instagram @hannah.mareeee