Fat-washing cocktails


What would Margaret drink?

Margaret Pearman is a certified sommelier under the Court of Master Sommeliers and is responsible for curating the award-winning wine list at Charlie’s Coastal Bistro. Here is her sipping suggestion for November:

I am always looking for new ways to freshen up the cocktail list at Charlie’s. A simple way to add some complexity to a cocktail (and really wow your guests) is the technique of fat washing. The idea is to add flavor and creaminess. Bartender Don Lee popularized it at PDT (Please Don’t Tell) in New York with his Benton’s Old Fashioned. 

Basically, pour liquid fat into a spirit, and allow it to infuse at room temperature. Freeze for a couple of hours or overnight, then strain. Make a classic cocktail even better. There are endless possibilities.

A few good combinations are:

At Charlie’s we have featured our Duck Fat Manhattan since last fall. It’s just that popular. I melt the duck fat over medium-high heat with a few sprigs of rosemary until it’s golden. Pour it over Old Forrester Kentucky Bourbon, infuse at room temp for an hour, freeze overnight and strain. We top the drink with Luxardo cherries.  

Fat Wash Guideline: Use 120g/4 oz fat per 750 ml alcohol when using stronger flavored fats like bacon or duck fat. Use 240g/8 oz fat per 750 ml alcohol when using lighter flavored fat like olive oil or butter.

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