The camel farm and the mad scientist team up to create camel milk vodka

Flinder's Peak Winery distiller Jason Hannay and Summer Land Camel Farm chief executive Jeffrey Flood. PhotoL Jocelyn Garcia
Flinder's Peak Winery distiller Jason Hannay and Summer Land Camel Farm chief executive Jeffrey Flood. PhotoL Jocelyn Garcia

SUMMER Land Camels has continued to defy the rules in the food industry and are now taking on spirits with creation of a camel milk and honey vodka with Scenic Rim’s ‘mad scientist’.

They have teamed up with Flinder’s Peak Winery distiller Jason Hannay to launch the drink, made from their own honey and camel milk, during Eat Local Week.

Chief executive Jeffrey Flood said the business had proved nay sayers wrong after being told camel milk would never be suitable to make vodka.

“We’re always breaking the rules, we make at least 15 types of cheese with our camel milk,” he said.

“We were told we can’t make cheddar, fromage blanc and so on but we did it and we’re doing the same with the camel milk vodka.”

The farm also won a gold medal for their camel milk and a silver medal for their feta at the Sydney Royal Easter Show earlier this year.

Mr Flood said with the business’ focus on sustainability, the idea to create the vodka was sparked when they wanted to use the left over product from their cheeses instead of letting it go to waste.

“We thought of about 100 different ways to do with the left over whey from the cheese we make and vodka was one of them,” he said.

“First someone in the United Kingdom invented vodka using cow’s milk, called Black Cow vodka, and a man in Tasmania just won an award for the best vodka this year out of the by-product from sheep cheese.

“We thought if they can do it, why can’t we?”

Mr Flood said he approached Mr Hannay last year about the project.

“Because I had a background in biochemistry I understood how it could be done but with Jason, it’s not just about having the knowledge of distilling, you have to be in the right mindset to be innovative, to break the rules and to think outside the box,” he said.

“I was surprised at how great it turned out – it tastes just like a camel milk vodka.”

Mr Hannay is known for helping Flinder’s Peak Winery win bronze awards for their gin, brandy, grappa and lemon schnapps as well as creating drinks like carrot vodka.

He said he did not shy away from the challenge to test camel milk whey and to turn it into a delicious concoction when the idea was brought to him.

“I’ve had a little bit of an experiment…in 2016 with some of the goat’s whey from across the road and that’s what started me to experiment with different things,” he said.

“There was a bit of research that went on with the camel milk whey and the enzymes and now we’ve come up with our own technique to get the most out of the whey and to fement it with the honey.”

Mr Hannay said it was an understatement to say he was happy with the results.

“I knew it would work but how well it worked was the unknown,” he said.

“When it came out and I distilled it the last time, I was blown away with the taste and the smoothness of the it.

“I basically said to Jeff we’re on a winner – there’s nothing else like this out there.”