Back Bar | Cinema Highball

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Fat-washing, a technique developed by Sam Mason and Eben Freeman at New York's Tailor, has since proliferated on cocktail menus across the country. Lee experimented with the trend while at PDT, and revisits it here: Rum is infused with popcorn, then fat-washed with clarified butter. When mixed with Coca-Cola, the combination results in the classic flavors of a movie theater.

Cinema Highball

Recipe adapted from Don Lee, New York City

Yield: 1 cocktail

Cook Time: 10 minutes, plus 1 day resting time


Popcorn-infused rum

  • 20 grams dry air-popped popcorn
  • 750 milliliters Flor de Caña 4-year rum
  • 1 ounce clarified butter


  • Ice
  • 2 ounces popcorn-infused rum
  • 4 ounces Coca-Cola


1. Make the popcorn-infused rum: In a large container, combine the popcorn with the rum and set aside for 1 hour. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer into a container with a tight-fitting lid. Stir in the clarified butter, cover and set aside at room temperature for 24 hours. Transfer the container to the freezer and freeze until the fat solidifies on the surface, about 4 hours. Strain through a fine-mesh strainer and store at room temperature until ready to use. Use within 2 weeks.

2. Make the cocktail: In an ice-filled Collins glass, combine the popcorn-infused rum and the Coca-Cola, stir and serve.

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