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.
1 oz liquid oil, butter or fat 12 oz vodka (or your choice of spirit)
2 pint-size mason jars Cheesecloth Funnel
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Pour 1 oz of liquid oil, butter or fat into a jar containing 12 ounces of vodka.
Seal the jar and shake. Let sit for three to four hours.
Place the jar in the freezer, and let freeze until all of the fat solidifies in a layer at the top of the jar.
Scrape the fat out and discard.
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.