Whey, the tart liquid by-product when making cheese and yogurt, is often sold as a protein source in many nutritional supplements used for bodybuilding and in meal replacement products. It’s also used to enrich baked goods and to produce bread dough.
Recently, however, whey has taken on a pop-culture profile with the introduction of whey-based gin. All gin is made with different fermented combinations of the main ingredient, juniper berry, and can include various botanical combinations that incorporate coriander, sage, nutmeg and/or rosemary.
In late 2015 the Ballyvolane House Spirits Company in Cork, Ireland introduced a blend of whey-distillate made from whey alcohol derived from the milk of Irish cows, natural spring water and a secret mix of locally-grown botanicals.
The enticing concoction is called Bertha’s Revenge. Bertha, a legendary cow from Sneem Co, Kerry, Ireland actually died in 1993 at the age of 48. Considered to be the world’s oldest cow, Bertha had given birth to 39 calves over her lifetime. To immortalize her memory, this special, hand-crafted gin was named in her memory.
Bertha’s Revenge is said to “have a fragrant nose, a soft mouth feel, and warming spicy middle notes to mirror her (Bertha’s) maternal core . . . with a long, confident fruit-driven finish to celebrate her longevity”—all in all, a worthy dedication to a memorable beast.
Whey-based alcoholic drinks, however, are not only limited to the gin variety. In 2012, the world’s first milk vodka was distilled using whey as the main ingredient. And last year a Charleston, South Carolina distillery launched a line of alcoholic drinks made with whey and which included flavorings such as coconut, lime and grapefruit.
If you’re thinking that this blog may be informative but sort of “off topic” for a Murder, Mayhem and Medicine-focused blog, remember that the most entertaining murder mysteries use imaginative and memorable murder weapons. A whey-based brew laced with a lethal substance could provide the perfect literary device, not only to make the murder scene unique, but also to offer an intriguing twist to the murder investigation.
It would seem that whey-based libations are becoming more popular worldwide and the future of whey looks bright. Such concoctions might provide clever vehicles for dosing your villains with a lethal substance in your next murder mystery.
Thoughts? Comments? I’d love to hear them!