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Issue 93 - Whiskies Get Fatter

Whisky Magazine Issue 93
January 2011


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Whiskies Get Fatter

Naren Young looks at the latest trend of fat washing whiskies

There's something to be said for a bar that serves a mean hot dog, one of life's great guilty pleasures, to be sure.

And there are few pleasures I find greater than unwinding after a night behind the bar in New York at revered cocktail haven PDT (Please Don't Tell).

Wylie Dog in hand (created by the city's famed molecular chef Wylie Dufresne) and washed down with their ethereal Benton's Old Fashioned. Stopping at one is impossible. Resistance is futile.

It takes its name from the famed Benton's pig farm in Tennessee, a cult purveyor among Manhattan's best chefs. But now bartenders are also digging their swine.

PDT's ode to one of the world's great whisky cocktails uses bourbon (Four Roses Single Barrel) that has been ‘fat washed' with some of the cooked bacon fat. It's a rather new technique in the bartending world that was pioneered by the highly talented Eben Freeman while he was Dufresne's cocktail guy at his eponymous Lower East Side restaurant WD-50.

“I first got the idea from Sam Mason (the pastry chef at WD-50) when he was infusing brown butter into milk to make ice cream”, he says. “I took this idea to make my brown butter-washed rum (Flor de Cana 7 year) for my Crumble cocktail. I then started playing around with the bacon idea which Don Lee from PDT refined and used it in an actual cocktail”.

The process itself is very simple: Take about ¾ of a pound of bacon, cook it on a high heat until all the fat has been rendered.

Remove the bacon and while st...

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