Remember The Crucial Straining Step After Fat-Washing Your Alcohol

If you haven't tried fat-washing spirits, it's time to hop on that trend! Adding the rich toasty flavor of brown butter, tropical coconut or smoky bacon to a cocktail is easy to do with a quick and easy fat wash. While the process involves several steps, straining is a critical step that ensures the final product is smooth and free of unwanted oil that would ruin the mouthfeel of your final cocktail.

To begin fat-washing alcohol, start with a high-proof spirit like bourbon or vodka. Next, heat the fat of your choice, ideally a fat that is solid when cold so it's easier to separate after the infusion is complete. Combine the melted fat with the alcohol in a sealable container, shaking the ingredients well to allow the alcohol to absorb the flavors and aromas of the fat. Once combined, let the mixture sit at room temperature for several hours — a longer rest increases the intensity of flavor. Next comes the crucial straining step.

Fine pointers for a well-strained spirit

Place the infused spirits and fat mixture in a freezer until the fat solidifies. This phase separates the fat from the alcohol. The freezing process is vital, as it facilitates the easy removal of the solidified fat layer, leaving behind a clarified and flavorful spirit. Because fat is less dense than the alcohol, it will rise to the top of the container; we recommend you chill your container upside down, so the flavored alcohol can pour right out and the fat will be left behind in the jar.

Now comes the straining part. Pour the spirits through a coffee filter or double layer of cheesecloth to filter out any remaining particles, oil, or impurities. This step is crucial for achieving a smooth and visually appealing final product. Skipping or neglecting the straining process could result in an unpleasant texture or cloudy appearance in the infused alcohol.

The importance of straining is aesthetic and affects the overall drinking experience. A well-strained fat-washed alcohol ensures a clean and velvety texture, allowing the nuanced flavors of the fat to shine through without any unwanted residue. Whether you're crafting a bacon-infused bourbon or a butter-washed rum, the straining process is the key to elevating your fat-washed concoction from a science experiment to a refined and indulgent libation.