Texas distillery pioneers black-eyed pea vodka10th March, 2014 by Amy Hopkins
A micro-distillery in Texas is pioneering a new method of vodka making through the use of black-eyed peas.
Four years ago, a family of black-eyed pea farmers from Mulshoe, Texas, sought alternative uses for their crop following a year of drought and declining sales.
One of the family members, Trey Nickles, then decided to convert a historic firehouse in Fort Worth, Texas, into a craft distillery to create vodka from black-eyed peas, producing a liquid which became known as TreyMark Black-Eyed Vodka.
Nickels uses the starch rich black-eyed peas to create fermented mash, which is then distilled into vodka.
He was joined by his mother Deborah Nickels and distilling consultant Sherman Owens to experiment with distillation methods.
Owens discovered that the most effective process to create vodka from black-eyed peas is one based on a method developed in China to extract starch from mung beans.
After this, the same distillation procedure as those using corn or potatoes is followed.
“It’s a clean, no-burn vodka with a subtle nut flavor to green tea on the end,” Nickels told the Fort Worth Star Telegram. “It’s going to lend itself to mixed drinks.”
The peas used to create the vodka have been farmed in fields of Chad Nickels – Trey Nickels’s older brother.
Work on the distillery is expected to be completed this month, with its first bottles set for launch in April 2014, subject to the completion of licensing by the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission.
TreyMark Black-Eyed Vodka will carry an RRP of US$35, while a distributor for the brand has yet to be confirmed.