A bartender from Los Angeles was declared the winner in the final of an international cocktail competition in Dorset for Black Cow Vodka.
Erica Brown from Bar Stella in Silver Lake, Los Angeles, impressed judges with her expertise, talent, passion and knowledge of the Dorset-made vodka and with the creativity of her cocktail.
She came up with the Beautiful Bovine (pictured), which combined Black Cow vodka with fresh basil, tomato water and rock salt, served over a tomato water ice pearl and a side of Black Cow cheese.
The Black Cow Vodka Gold Top Cup final was held at the newly launched Bar + Kitchen at the distillery in west Dorset where the spirit is made from the fermented whey of milk.
After a UK-wide competition last year, it was the first international competition for the brand, drawing entries from the USA, Singapore and Hong Kong as well as Britain, reflecting its move into export markets. It is distributed in the UK through Mangrove.
The finalists were treated to a three-day visit to west Dorset, where they saw the beauty of the Dorset coastline by sea, sailing together along the Jurassic Coast on a tall ship, before battling it out for the trophy.
All the finalists received a handmade Black Cow cocktail roll with gold bar kit. Erica received a £1,000 cash prize and the actual Gold Top Cup, thrown by internationally renowned west Dorset potter Tim Hurn.
The other finalists were Darren Lim of Lucky Bar in Singapore, Ana Souze of The Pontiac in Hong Kong, Massimiliano (Max) Terrile of Duck & Waffle in London, Chelsie Bailey of Red Light in Bristol, Thomas Gabb of Drakes of Brighton in Brighton, and Jacob Burnham of The Ox Cheltenham.
Jason Barber, who launched Black Cow Vodka with Paul (Archie) Archard in 2012, said: “We were really excited to be extending this year’s Gold Top Cup internationally. Since I first created our crystal-clear pure milk vodka five years ago, we have seen interest grow around the world and we now sell Black Cow Vodka globally.”
The Beautiful Bovine by Erica Brown
60ml Black Cow
Rock salt from Portland
Shake and fine strain into a Nick & Nora glass. Serve with a tomato water ice pearl Add a side of Black Cow cheese and enjoy together.