Vodka has none of the street cred of gin but, well made, this spirit can be a clean, fresh thing of wonder. Hartshorn Distillery’s vodka, recent winner of the Best Vodka at the 2018 World Vodka Awards, is living proof of that.
Hartshorn vodka has an artisan back story worthy of any gin: it’s made in limited volume in southern Tasmania by Ryan Hartshorn, whose mother and sister make award-winning sheep-milk cheese at Grandvewe Cheeses.
In a world first, Ryan figured out how to make vodka from whey, a waste product of the cheese-making process. The unfiltered vodka acquires a unique, gorgeous sweetness on the nose and a subtle creamy texture in the mouth; it can be sipped straight at room temperature but also makes a cracking vodka martini.
The best place to sample Hartshorn’s martini cred is at the recently opened and exuberantly decorated Natural History Bar & Grill. This cavernous New York-style steakhouse features giant dioramas filled with taxidermy beasts and birds, a David Lynch-worthy red-and-black chequered floor and a maze of booths and bar stools. It’s a place made for drinking martinis and to prove it has a lunch special every Friday: three martinis and a steak with all the trimmings for $75.
- Natural History Bar & Grill
- 401 Collins St, Melbourne
- 03 9982 1811