Bacon. Brisket. Butter. Avocados. Pork belly. Fatty things are better things — even when it comes to booze. Bars across DFW are putting that theory to the test with fat-washed cocktails. Sounds scary, no? Have no fear, it just means that they’re infusing a liquid with fatty flavor using oils or animal fat.
I know it’s swimsuit season (gag), so most probably not in the market to add fat to just about anything, let alone your cocktail. Worry not, my calorie-tracking frenemies, fat-washing is a process that infuses the rich flavor of one item into another, and leaves the flavor behind but not the fat, nor the oleaginous mouthfeel that often accompanies a fatty treat.
Let's start with bacon fat-washed cocktails. Fat-washing a spirit with bacon isn't difficult, though it is time consuming; mixing the spirit in a cocktail and keeping it light is a bit harder. Nickel and Rye’s most popular cocktail, the Maple Bacon Manhattan, keeps it simple by using bacon fat-washed whiskey as the main ingredient, with not much else. Bacon vodka can also be found in a bloody mary or two across DFW (check out The Bird Café’s smoked version), and thank God for that ... because, bacon. Boulevardier’s bar offers another porky treatment with pure pork fat-washed whiskey in the Snout to Tail, a smoky treat made with pork fat-washed Mellow Corn whiskey, averna, creme de cacao and tobacco and angostura bitters.
The Bird Café in Fort Worth went fat happy with one of their Tiki drinks, the Tiki Cass-a-Role; it's made with sweet potato liqueur and butter-washed Frangelico. The butter wash is surprisingly subtle but gives the drink a decidedly rich texture.
While fat-washed spirits sound like they’d be more appropriate for a fireside cocktail on a chilly night, some mixologists are trying to bring fat washes into lighter drinks for the warmer months. Common Table and Parliament are offering the less intimidating coconut oil-infused cocktails that evoke vacation vibes. And you can make sure to get your "good fat" in with Lark on the Park's The Pennyworth, a darker cocktail made with avocado oil-washed gin and Underberg, a German, licorice-tasting digestif similar to Fernet-Branca.
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Stop into one of these fine establishments slinging fat-wash cocktails and take some time to chew the fat (figuratively) with the bartenders who have created these deliciously rich concoctions.
Boulevardier's Snout to Tail: Pork Fat-Washed Mellow Corn Whiskey, Averna, Creme de Cacao, tobacco bitters, Angostura Bitters
The Bird Café's Tiki Cass-a-Role: Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum, house-made sweet potato liqueur, butter-washed Frangelico, Luxardo maraschino, pineapple, coconut cream, passion fruit
The Common Table's Konomi: coconut oil-washed Ketel One, Pineapple syrup, sesame infused kocchi, green tea powder
Parliament's Not a Piña Colada: coconut oil-washed Atlantico Rum, pineapple Demerara syrup, spiced black walnut bitters
Lark on the Park's The Pennyworth: avocado oil-washed Old Tom Gin, Kina L’Avion d’Or, Dolin blanc, Underberg