It doesn’t get much newer or more different than this: Wheyward Spirit, a vodkalike liquor produced from whey, the milky leftover from making cheese and other dairy products. Emily Darchuk, a food scientist who lives in Portland, Ore., was dismayed by how much excess whey was discarded (billions of pounds a year) despite its nutritional value; it’s used to make protein powder, ricotta and some brands of yogurt. She started researching and experimenting to develop a clear spirit, 80 proof, distilled from whey. She uses whey from family farms, and distills the spirit in Sebastopol, Calif., calling the process “farm to flask.” The result is smooth, with a silky texture and a hint of spice that’s elbowed out of the way by its sweet finish, making it alluring on the rocks and adaptable to many white-spirit cocktails.
Wheyward Spirit, $56.99 for 750 milliliters, wheywardspirit.com.
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