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March 3, 2023updated May 05, 2023

The Matterhorn by BlackLion Vodka

The secret to BlackLion vodka's success is quite unusual.

By Samantha Coles

Think of vodka’s ingredients and you’ll likely think of grains — wheat, rye or barley — or in some cases, potatoes. 

The star of this week’s cocktail recipe, however, does things a bit differently. BlackLion vodka is made using a more unusual ingredient: sheep’s milk. 

And not just any sheep but a rare crossbreed. The Valais Blacknose sheep originate from the Valais region of Switzerland (which is home to The Matterhorn). This heritage breed of sheep are famous for their shaggy coats, spiral horns and, as their name suggests, black noses. 

[See also: Is Vodka Finally Cracking the Super Premium Market?]

The Valais Blacknose are part of the flock at BlackLion’s HQ; Sheaf House Farm is a family-owned farm in the picturesque Costwolds in the south of England. Through selective breeding, farmers and BlackLion founders Tim and Tanya Spittle have created the Black Lion sheep whose milk is used to create the vodka. 

The first vodka that is produced using whey from pure sheep’s milk, BlackLion is fermented using the sugars-rich whey left over after the cheesemaking process — which would otherwise go to waste. 

The end result is an extremely rare triple-distilled, triple-filtered, small-batch and eco-responsible British dairy product. All the whey still comes from the farm’s single flock and it is distilled with fresh spring water from the Cotswolds. 

Since launching in 2021, the BlackLion Vodka has won a number of awards including Launch Design Bronze and Presentation Gold at the 2022 World Vodka Awards, plus the show’s Gold for Best Presentation. The farm also won the Diversification Farmer of the Year award as well as a number of gold medals in various tastings.

This week’s recipe, The Matterhorn, pays homage to the Valais Blacknose sheep’s home turf. Cool, crisp and refreshing, the cocktail calls for shaking with plenty of ice as BlackLion is best served at a temperature of -1°C or 30.2°F.

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-2 dashes of celery bitters

-1 egg white

-50ml Blacklion Vodka

-35ml pineapple juice


Add all ingredients to a shaker. Shake with plenty of ice and double strain into a tulip Champagne glass. 

See more Cocktail of the Week recipes here.

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