How to Fat Wash Whiskey
If your a fan of whiskies with subtle notes of barbequed meats, roast ham and bacon, you're gonna love this guide. Not only will it boost the meaty flavour, but it will create a one-of-a-kind infusion that imparts a rich, silky mouthfeel onto the liquid. It's a perfect addition to those cold-weather cocktails.
The trend was popularised by a bartender looking to pimp up his Old Fashioned. In 2007 bartender Don Lee from PDT (Please Don’t Tell) in New York, created a Benton’s Old Fashioned, a drink he made using bacon fat-washed bourbon.
To fat wash at home, you first need to heat up your fat of choice like butter or oil, introduce it to your chosen alcohol then shake. Once its incorporated, you leave it in the freezer, and once the fat has frozen and formed a hard layer on top you remove this and throw away. The result is a more viscous liquid, with an enhanced savoury flavour.
The technique is actually borrowed from perfumers, in a process called enfleurage, in which an oil is heated with a plant or flower in order to extract its flavour - creating essential oils. You can fat-wash any alcohol with any fat - for example, rum and butter, vodka and truffle oil and gin and blue cheese. . However, for our recipe below we're going to focus on the classic of bacon fat and bourbon.
See our full recipe for bacon fat-washed bourbon below:
- 25g bacon fat
- One 70cl bottle of bourbon
- Firstly create your bacon grease by making yourself a bacon butty (or whatever you call it where you are) for breakfast. You'll need 25g of bacon fat, when cooled, for this so perhaps make some for your friends and family. Save the fat for later.
- When you're ready to make your concoction, warm your bacon fat in a saucepan for around five minutes until it melts.
- Combine this with your chosen bourbon in a clean Tupperware container (do not pour back into the bottle) and shake to combine.
- Cool the mixture to room temperature for around an hour, then put in the freezer.
- Pop off the layer of fat on the top of the mixture, and then strain through a cheesecloth and pour the liquid back into the bottle.
- Keep it refrigerated and use within one month (very important).