Don’t want to hear the backstory? Jump straight to the recipe.
Fat-washing is an old cocktail technique that uses alcohol to remove flavor compounds from fats. You can do this to infuse the flavor of butter into rum, peanut oil into vodka, or any other fat and alcohol combination. Perhaps the most famous, and what we’ll be starting with here is a fat-wash of bacon into bourbon.
The process for fat-washing is pretty straightforward. A liquid fat is mixed into a high-proof alcohol where they are allowed to mingle before freeze-filtering the fat from the alcohol. Because fats and alcohols have drastically different freezing points, you can easily freeze the fat in the mixture and filter it out while still keeping the spirit clear and liquid. The alcohol will retain the alcohol-soluble flavor compounds from the fat even after the fat has been removed.
We had a lot of bacon fat leftover from making our bacon jam recipe, so we decided to put it to use. The result is a wonderfully complex bourbon that is great to sip or use in cocktails.
- 2 to 4 oz of bacon fat (can be from the leftovers from making bacon jam), depending on how strong of a flavor your grease contains.
- 750 ml of bourbon of your choice. We used Wild Turkey 101.
Add your bourbon to a clean bowl.
Add bacon grease to bourbon. The grease should still be liquid, but not hot.
Blend your bourbon and grease together using a blender or whisk until thoroughly combined.
Cover the bowl tightly and allow to sit at room temperature for six hours.
After six hours, place the entire bowl into the freezer for at least three hours, up to overnight.
After freezing, the bacon fat will solidify and can be easily strained. Run the mixture through a coffee filter or at least two layers of cheese cloth before bottling.