Last night I set out to try something that is all the rage right now: fat washing bourbon or other spirits to infuse the flavors and richness of whatever fat source you’re using into whatever alcohol you’re wanting to infuse.
I have been thinking about fat washing bourbon for some time now, but finally decided to give it a try for an upcoming maple-and-bacon Old Fashioned recipe. I’ve had several maple-bacon Old Fashioneds that simply tuck a piece of cooked bacon into the glass as an afterthought, but not one (to my knowledge) where the bacon flavor was infused directly into the bourbon.
The process is really easy: you melt some bacon fat (if you have some in the fridge or freezer, as I did) or you use freshly-rendered bacon fat if you just happen to be cooking bacon. Once it’s melted you add it to some bourbon in a mason jar, give it a good shaking, then let it sit for an hour at room temperature. After an hour, you pop it in the freezer overnight. The next day, take it out of the freezer, remove the fat, filter it, and voila – fat washed bourbon!
I filtered through a fine mesh sieve, some cheesecloth, and finally through a coffee filter to remove any remaining sediment. The result is a rich-hued bourbon with a very distinct bacon smell and taste. I’m eager to try it in this recipe I have brewing in the back of my mind. But it’s still morning here as I type this, and that’s a little early to start drinking, dontchathink?
Keep an eye out for the new recipe, coming soon, right here on Bourbony.co!
Update (2023-12-23 7:00PM EST): I made two test cocktails using this fat washed bourbon – an Old Fashioned variant using brown sugar simple syrup and chocolate bitters, and one using maple syrup and Angostura bitters. Both were pretty good, though I think I liked the second one better. But the bourbon was… not so good. I used bacon fat, but honestly have no idea what kind of bacon it was, as it was in a cup in the freezer where we store our rendered fats. It had a very “raw bacon” … whang… to it. I tried a sample sans mixers, and was taken aback at how bad the bacon taste was.
This may be a do-over, but I’ll cook some hickory-smoked bacon or similar fresh beforehand. Sadly, this batch is going down the sink.