Benton's Smokey Old Fashioned
Bacon, whiskey, scotch and maple syrup. Need I say more?
I love innovation, as you've likely figured out by now. Since I started playing in the realm of craft cocktails "way back in 2015" I've seen it continue to spread like wildfire through this industry (and this is from a very limited, back seat view as a home bartender).
So naturally when I came across the method of fat washing spirits, well, I was disgusted. Ok, that's a bit of an exaggeration but when I heard the name it just didn't sound appetizing – kind of like "kale salad". But, as I've grown older and wiser I've taken on a mentality that I will try anything once, so I gave it a go. Spoiler: I'm so glad I did.
Introduced to the masses by former PDT bartender Don Lee, the idea of fat washing spirits came to life via the Benton's Old Fashioned. It was initially shunned by PDT owner Jim Meehan. "Fat washing is too much to ask of our barbacks," said Meehan. So, like any determined visionary, Lee found a way and started fat washing bourbon in his own kitchen. Fast forward and the Benton's Old Fashioned became PDT's best selling cocktail (over 150 ordered per week!).
Full disclosure: For my first cocktail with bacon fat washed whiskey I took the safe route and cut the spec in half from 2 ounces to 1, swapping in (Famous Grouse) scotch for the other ounce. I really enjoyed the slightly smokey addition which naturally compliments the bacon flavors.
Benton's (Smokey) Old Fashioned
- 1 oz bacon fat washed whiskey or bourbon (I used Whistlepig Farmstock Crop 001)
- 1 oz scotch whiskey
- 1/4 oz real maple syrup grade A or B
- 2 dashes @angosturahouse bitters
Build like a normal Old Fashioned and strain into a rocks glass with a king cube. Garnish with an orange expression and, for the die hard bacon lovers, a crispy piece of bacon.
How to Make Bacon Fat Washed Whiskey
- Air tight container like a mason jar (minimum 10 oz capacity)
- 2-3 oz of still warm bacon fat (it needs to be liquid and not congealed)
- 8-10 oz of your spirit of choice
- Add 2-3 ounces of the bacon fat to a clean wide mouth jar
- Add roughly 8-10 ounces of your spirit to the jar
- Seal the jar tightly and give a quick shake to mix together
- Let mixture sit at room temp for 1 hour
- Place the jar in the freezer UPSIDE DOWN
- Give it a couple hours until the bacon fat is completely solid (it will turn whitish brown)
- Remove from the freezer
You'll see that the bottom of the jar has the solid bacon fat and the top of the jar contains the infused spirit. If you had placed the jar upright in the freezer, you would have to break through this solid layer to extract the liquid, leaving bits of solid fat that need to be strained out. Since you're smart (and you read this post), you put it in upside down, so now all that's left to do is open the jar and transfer it to another. Store in an air tight container in the fridge...after you make a cocktail of course!
Jamie Boudreau has a great video of the easy process.
As always, by all means tag me and let me know what you come up with. Here's to bacon!