A Refreshing (and Sustainable!) Autumn Cocktail

Apples Vodka Rosemary

This post was possible because Black Cow were kind enough to send me a bottle of their spirits in order to create a cocktail recipe. 

A few weeks ago, I was in London visiting my cousin Elizabeth, her husband Chris, and their two boys, who had traveled from their home in San Francisco for a week's European getaway.  After a day of wandering the city and perusing the Natural History Museum, we ended up back at their accommodations for cocktails at the end of the night.  

Chris had picked up, out of curiosity, a bottle of Black Cow vodka from the liquor store on the corner, intrigued by the label, which claimed the stuff was made out of milk, of all things.  We gave it a try and were surprised by its smooth taste - it's 100% vodka, no question about it, but with none of the harshness that you sometimes find in grain- and potato-based varieties.  

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How Black Cow Vodka is Made

Black Cow vodka is made right here in the UK, in West Dorset, from the milk of pasture-raised dairy cows.  The cows belong to farmer Jason Barber, who created his Pure Milk Vodka™ in an effort to diversify the produce from his herd. 

The beauty of this vodka is that none of the milk is wasted in its creation.  The milk is separated into curds and whey.  The whey, which contains the sugar required to make alcohol, is combined with a special yeast to create a milk beer.  This then undergoes Black Cow's secret blending process, before it's triple distilled and hand bottled.  All of this takes place at the source in West Dorset.  

The Barber Family, who have been making cheese in the West Country for generations, use the curds from the process to make Black Cow Cheddar cheese.  Yum. 

Since Black Cow is locally produced, I thought it only fitting to come up with a cocktail using ingredients you can find right here in England at this time of year.  There are English Russet apples in abundance at my local green grocer right now, as well as ginger and fragrant rosemary.  They turned out to be delightful complements to this smooth and creamy spirit.  The Scrumper's Sling is light and refreshing, and infused with the subtle flavours of autumn.  

Scrumper's Sling Recipe

Serves 1


  • 50 ml Black Cow vodka
  • 25 ml rosemary simple syrup (recipe below)
  • 25 ml fresh squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 thin slice fresh ginger 
  • 1/4 apple, peeled and diced into 1 cm cubes
  • Splash soda water


Place apple cubes in a cocktail shaker and muddle.  Add ginger, vodka, and rosemary simple syrup.  Fill with ice, shake and strain into a rocks glass with two large ice cubes.  Add a splash of soda water.  Garnish with an apple slice and a sprig of rosemary. 

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Rosemary Simple Syrup Recipe


  • 200 ml water
  • 170 g sugar
  • 3 large sprigs rosemary, leaves stripped


Bring the water to a boil in a small saucepan.  Add sugar and whisk until dissolved.  Add rosemary leaves and remove from heat.  Let stand for at least two hours, then strain out the herbs.  

Scrumper's Sling Cocktail

Get cozy in front of the fire with this cocktail and someone you love!  Enjoy, and please drink responsibly. :) 


Scrumper's Sling