Food & Drink

How to Fat Wash Liquor

Fat-washing is tastier than it sounds. An easy (but impressive) way to create savory, silky flavored spirits, the process is very similar to infusing a spirit with fruits or herbs. The only difference is that you are using fats like oil or butter or lard, so the liquor extracts and absorbs both water- and fat-soluble compounds. The fat-soluble compounds alter not only the flavor of the spirit, but also the mouthfeel.

The technique was first perfected and popularized around 2007 when a bartender at New York’s famed speakeasy PDT (Please Don’t Tell) created a Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned made with bacon fat-washed bourbon. Since then, bartenders and home mixologists have used all manner of fats from butter to pistachio to sesame oil—even a grilled cheese sandwich—to flavor drinks.

So grab that can of bacon fat you keep in your freezer and try this super simple technique yourself—you’re five steps away from a delicious bottle of fat-washed goodness.

Ingredients

1 oz liquid oil, butter or fat
12 oz vodka (or your choice of spirit)

Tools

2 pint-size mason jars
Cheesecloth
Funnel

Step 1

Pour 1 oz of liquid oil, butter or fat into a jar containing 12 ounces of vodka.

Step 2

Seal the jar and shake. Let sit for three to four hours.

Step 3

Place the jar in the freezer, and let freeze until all of the fat solidifies in a layer at the top of the jar.

Step 4

Scrape the fat out and discard.

Step 5

Strain your fat-washed spirit through a cheesecloth-lined funnel into a clean jar or bottle. Drink straight or mix into a cocktail like a Bloody Mary or even a Martini.