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Mark’s Bar, Hix Brewer Street – Black Cow Vodka:
When I was younger and single, I used to love going out in London on a Friday night. Everyone is happy that the weekend has started, and there’s a happy buzz in the bars and restaurants. So I was pleased to hop on a tube after work and make my way to vibrant Soho. My destination was Mark’s Bar, situated downstairs from Hix restaurant on Brewer Street, and I was on my way to sample a flight of cocktails featuring Black Cow Vodka.
If you haven’t heard of this vodka before, it really is made from milk, produced on a farm in the West Dorset countryside, and taps into today’s ethos of less waste (usually whey is a by-product of cheese making that isn’t greatly used). Using a distillation method inspired by those of nomadic Siberian tribes (who distil reindeer milk), milk from grass-fed cows is separated into curds and whey; the curds are used to make cheddar cheese and the whey for the Vodka. The whey is fermented to make a milk ‘beer’, then distilled and triple filtered, to create a rather special creamy Vodka that tastes incredibly smooth and makes for an excellent sipping spirit. It also works beautifully with food, hence our outing to Mark’s Bar to enjoy a flight of cocktails made with Black Cow, accompanied by some small plates.
We started with a Dirty Cow Martini and Morecambe Bay rock oyster. The slight creaminess of the vodka offset the fresh taste of the sea delivered by the oyster. (From 4 p.m. to 6.30 p.m Monday to Friday Mark’s Bar offers these at the bargain price of £1 each).
Next to arrive was Black Cow Spritz, a light and deliciously morish cocktail that tasted like summer in a glass. With this, we were served Spicy Portland crab Poutine and a shrimp slider.
Next to arrive was a Peruvian Gold Chocolate mousse, rich and chocolatey with lovely chunks of golden honeycomb. This was like the most upmarket version of a Crunchie bar that you could imagine. This was accompanied by an Espresso Martini, where the creaminess of the vodka really came into its own. This was truly a perfect pairing.
The flight of cocktails with the small plates would make for a wonderful pre-theatre treat. Available for £25 per person exclusively for Spring 2018.
Or, you could treat yourself to a trip to the countryside to take a look around the Black Cow distillery, sample the vodka and enjoy a complimentary cocktail while learning all about Black Cow.
A Distillery Visit costs £25 per person, starts at 11.30am and lasts approximately 90 minutes.
For an additional treat, you can enjoy a Distillery Experience and Lunch, which includes a cocktail class and a tour of the distillery, concluded with a four-course meal of fresh, local and seasonal delights, using Black Cow vodka as an ingredient. This package is priced at £70 per person.
For bookings please visit the Black Cow website: