Tasting Table: A whey to enhance your cocktail

Whey used to be considered a by-product, the disposable liquid left over from making cheese. Chefs have been quick to rescue it from the trash, using it to marinate meat and add body to vegetables. Now the booze world is jumping on board.

Whey is the base of Broken Shed Vodka, a New Zealand-made spirit that just hit the United States market. After testing numerous bases, including traditional grains, the founders took a cue from their dairy-farming neighbors and tried a batch with whey. The high starch content provided plenty of sugar for fermentation to occur, and offered an incredibly clean finish, with a velvety mouth-feel.