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Drinks Product of the Year winner at the Dorset Magazine Food, Drink and Farming Awards 2015

PUBLISHED: 01:00 25 September 2015 | UPDATED: 16:12 09 December 2015

Conker Spirit winner Best Drinks Product sponsored by Beales Gourmet Catering: Rupert Hollloway ( Conker Spirit) with sponsor Tony Beales (Beales Gourmet Catering)

Conker Spirit winner Best Drinks Product sponsored by Beales Gourmet Catering: Rupert Hollloway ( Conker Spirit) with sponsor Tony Beales (Beales Gourmet Catering)

Andrew Plant/Imagine Photographic

Nominees for this category were drinks products made by a Dorset producer, retailer or manufacturer. Judges considered the innovativeness of the item and whether this was achieved without compromising on its taste, indulgence and value for money.

Dorset magazine Food, Drink and Farming Awards.Dorset magazine Food, Drink and Farming Awards.

Sponsored by Beales Gourmet

Winner: Conker Spirit, Christchurch

The first bottles of Conker Spirit - Dorset’s first ever Dry Gin- were released just in time for Christmas last year. The man behind the alembic copper pot still is former chartered surveyor Rupert Holloway, who blends British barley grain spirit with New Forest spring water and ten botanicals that he believes embody the character of Dorset – including samphire, elderberries and hand-picked gorse flowers. These give the gin a dry but fruity flavour and our readers agree: ‘Amazingly tasty gin, beautifully bottled, marvellously marketed and all by such a spiffingly great bloke.’

Highly Commended: Black Cow Vodka, Childhay

Inspired by a documentary about yak milk vodka made in a Russian village, West Dorset dairy farmer Jason Barber set to work to see if he could do something similar. After three years in development, Jason created the world’s first pure milk vodka in 2012. Using only milk from his grass grazed cows, the smooth vodka has an exceptionally creamy taste and has been embraced enthusiastically by mixologists across the UK who have created a whole raft of Cow inspired cocktails such as the Dirty Cow Martini and the Pink Mootini.

Highly Commended: Cerne Abbas Brewery, Cerne Abbas

According to our readers this little brewery produces a range of beers that are big on flavour. The microbrewery was only started last summer by friends Vic Irvine and Jodie Moore who had a dream of making beer in this beautiful Dorset valley. After learning the noble art of brewing from some other local breweries, they struck out on their own. The result is a selection of fine balanced ales including their flagship Ale which won Best in Festival at 2014 CAMRA Octoberfest.

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