What would you say if we told you that you can now drink your daily serve of carrots in vodka?
No, we are not joking!
Two Scenic Rim women – both married to carrot farmers – are behind a new Carrot Vodka, distilled using fresh carrots.
The women were looking for ways to reduce food waste on farm by using wonky carrots, when they happened upon the idea of creating a vodka infused with carrot juice.
Their Carrot Vodka has been released ahead of Scenic Rim Eat Local Week, a June 24 to July 1 event which celebrates local food and farmers.
The Carrot Vodka duo, Gen Windley and Alice Gorman, from Kalfresh Vegetables, say it’s already their favourite way to consume the orange vegetable!
“Food waste on farm is a big issue and we’re constantly thinking of ways to use 100 per cent of our crop,” says Kalbar mum of two Gen Windley.
“One of our favourite Friday afternoon drinks is vodka and soda and we may have been sipping on one when we decided to embark on the carrot vodka project.”
The women approached local winemaker Jason Hannay of Flinders Peak Winery with their idea. He was up for the challenge and distilled some test batches to see if the concept had crunch.
The result was a clear, smooth, slightly-sweet vodka with a subtle hint of carrot flavour.
“Not having done anything with vegetables before was a bit daunting, but after a few experiments we got a great result,” says Jason.
“I like it – it’s a good flavour – having the grape spirit as the base makes it just that little bit different too.”
Alice Gorman, who estimates Kalfresh Vegetables washes more than 350-million individual carrots each year, says: “Jason has done an incredible job of creating a really smooth vodka.”
“It’s clean and refreshing and I suspect will become our new favourite Friday night beverage.”
Wonky carrots weren’t the only motivation – the women were also keen to go one better than their husbands in the carrot diversification stakes.
In 2015 Alice’s husband made headlines when he and an Ipswich craft beer maker launched a Carrot Beer.
The Wabbit Saison Carrot Beer was a hit and hopped off the bar at the Ipswich Pumpyard Brewery.
The women hope their Carrot Vodka will be just as popular.
“The beer was excellent and is super popular, but neither of us are really beer drinkers,” explains Gen.
“Alice and I have four loud and energetic sons so we decided this was the year to create an alcoholic vegetable drink for ourselves!”
The Carrot Vodka is produced by distilling shiraz grapes and infusing carrot flavours via fresh carrots. The vodka is redistilled in an Arnold Holstein copper to create this fabulously smooth spirit.
Bottles of Carrot Vodka will be available to buy at the Winter Harvest Festival, Scenic Rim Eat Local Week’s signature event. Gen says the vodka has been released to coincide with Eat Local Week because the event is about celebrating local food and farmers and encouraging visitors to source their food and drink close to home.
Flinders Peak Winery Manager, Aretha Acton, says the winery was happy to support local farmers and will sell the carrot vodka via the winery cellar door.
“When Gen and Alice first proposed the idea we laughed, but then Jason quickly started calculating how many carrots we’d need and what techniques he’d use to extract the best carrot flavour,” she explains.
“We love supporting our local farmers and there are so many amazing producers out here in the Scenic Rim. We’re also not afraid to try new things, and the carrot vodka is an exciting addition to our range of products – in addition to our wines we also make port, gin and lemon schnapps from our own lemons.”
Try & buy the Carrot Vodka at the Scenic Rim Eat Local Week Winter Harvest Festival on Saturday July 1 at the Aratula Community Sports Complex.