OATS from three East Lothian farms are being transformed into the UK’s only oat vodka.

Colonsay Beverages Ltd – run by Chris Nisbet, who lives near Humbie, David Johnston of Athelstaneford, and Keith Bonnington, from Longniddry – are using a 19th-century recipe to create the drink.

The unusually prepared vodka, which is said to be “a smooth and creamy drink that mixes well” but can also be enjoyed on its own over ice, is thought to be one of only two oat vodkas in the world.

Keith was hugely proud of the product, called Brochan, which is Gaelic for porridge.

He said: “We set out to create a truly unique vodka and worked on the recipe for 12 months to get it right.

“We found details of the spirit in a 19th-century Irish distiller’s journal and worked with our colleagues at Langley Distillery in the Black Country to perfect the drink.

“Our goal was to create the smoothest, creamiest vodka in one of the oldest working copper pot stills in the country, inspired by this very traditional recipe.

“Irish distillers used oats in the early 19th century to soften and sweeten the flavour of pot-distilled whiskeys, while there is evidence distillers in the UK were also adding the cereal to their distillates for the same purpose.

“Using golden Scottish oats from farms in East Lothian and ‘small oats’ from the Hebrides, along with two other grains – wheat for lightness and rye for subtle spiciness – we believe we have created one of the most perfectly balanced, smoothest sipping vodkas on the market.”

Oats fell out of favour with distillers because they are extremely difficult to work with.

Colonsay Beverages Ltd also produces Wild Island Botanic Gin and three different beers.

Brochan is available from Locket Bros in North Berwick and the Fine Wine Company, Musselburgh, as well as in bars.