Cow’s Milk Vodka? Why Not! Introducing “Vodkow”

Canadian Dairy farmers stand to lose market share, and perhaps even their livelihoods in the wake of the new USMCA trade deal between Canada, the U.S. and Mexico. Ovid McDonald, the founder of Dairy Distillery in Almonte, has come up with an idea that might offer dairy farmers another source of revenue.

For the past couple of years, he’s been working on a new creation, which he’s named, Vodkow. Essentially, it’s vodka made from cows milk. Now before you turn up your nose… according to Ovid, vodka made from cow’s milk looks like any other vodka, except that it has “absolutely no burn, a sweet smell and a caramel-y finish.”

The idea of Vodkow was born out of a conversation that he had with his wife’s cousin, Neal McCarten, who grew up around his uncle’s dairy farm. Neil told Ovid that skim milk was being wasted due to excess production and unwanted components. Ovid, who always had an interest in how alcohol is made, asked if it was possible to make alcohol out of the leftovers. He eventually reached a deal with Parmalat, the dairy company to use its unwanted milk permeate — what is left behind from milk after the fats and proteins are taken out to make products such as ice cream, cheese and butter.

After finding the right kind of yeast to make the vodka, Ovid McDonald and Neil McCarten teamed up to scale up production of the product, and Vodkow was born. Love the packaging!

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