Fat-Wash Your Whiskey In Brown Butter For A More Decadent Spirit

Fat washing whiskey is a modern mixology technique for infusing the spirit with the rich flavors and aromas of fats, creating a distinct and complex flavor profile and a smooth mouthfeel. While fat washing can be applied to various spirits, whiskey is a popular choice due to its ability to absorb and retain flavors. Brown butter has been one the favorite choices for fat washing because the browned solids bring a nutty and caramelized umami taste that adds complexity and decadence to the toasty, vanilla notes in whiskey.

The process involves melting butter until it turns brown, mixing it with whiskey, and letting it sit. After a few hours of infusing, the mixture is refrigerated so the butterfat will solidify. Then the solid fat is removed, and the whiskey is strained a few times to remove all traces of the butter. The result is a spirit that has a distinct brown butter essence with layers of depth and character.

Adding brown butter whiskey to your glass

Brown butter fat-washed whiskey is versatile for standalone sipping or mixing into creative cocktails. It's commonly used in classic drinks like the Manhattan or old fashioned, where its unique flavor adds an umami balance to the inherent sweetness and a more earthy and nutty profile. Another option is to incorporate the spirit into a whiskey sour to mellow the citrus tang, creating a more well-rounded and flavorful variation.

Brown butter fat-washed whiskey also adds nutty goodness to a hot toddy, Irish coffee, or a boozy apple cider — some of our favorite cold-weather drinks. However, it's not recommended for carbonated cocktails, as the bubbles may bring any remaining fat to the surface, creating an undesirable oily sheen. Whether enjoyed in a warm, comforting beverage or a classic cocktail favorite, brown butter whiskey offers a distinct flavor you can layer on to make your personal cocktails more interesting and uniquely your own.