By now you’ve seen or read about, or even tasted, the newest trend to hit your local bar: meat infused booze.
The technical term for adding meaty goodness to your favorite spirit is “fat washing,” and the most typical fat washed liquor you may have run across is bacon vodka. (Both delicious and mood altering.) But mixologists worldwide are experimenting with all kinds of meats, and adding them to all kinds of spirits. With whiskeys and bourbons being the next most popular – their deep, rich, smokey flavor is a perfect compliment to the deep, rich, smokey flavor of the meat.
So whether you want to add some bacon to your vodka for a next-level Bloody Mary, or some corned beef to your whiskey for an unforgettable St. Patrick’s Day cocktail, you’ll definitely want to have some of these meat infused spirits on hand.
But there is a right way and a wrong way to fat wash. Some just stuff the cooked meat into the bottle and let it soak for days or weeks, then strain out the solids. And that can work, but there is a much better way. And it yields a lot more flavor. While at Kingsford U, Josh Perry, the mixologist from Pican restaurant in Oakland, CA, showed us the proper technique for getting the most flavor out of whatever you choose to infuse. So grab some meat, a bottle of your favorite spirit, fire up the grill, and get to fat washing.
Here’s How to Fat Wash:
1. Start a fire in your grill. Place a large aluminum pan directly on the coals, positioned to catch the drippings of the meat above.
2. Place enough meat on the grill to render at least 1 1/2-3 ounces of fat. For example, 5 slices of bacon should be enough to get you that amount. Cook the meat until done. Carefully remove the drip pan from the grill and let it cool.
3. Pour 750 milliliters of your spirit (a standard sized bottle), into a non-porous container. Strain the rendered fat into the container using cheesecloth or a coffee filter. Infuse for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature. Then place the container in your freezer until all the fat is solidified. Remove the fat with a slotted spoon.
4. Strain the infused liquor through cheesecloth or a coffee filter one more time, to catch any last solids. Return the newly fat washed spirit back into its bottle with a funnel.
5. Enjoy with your favorite mixers for a truly unique cocktail experience.