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Bacon Fat-Washed Old Fashioned

Ah, the Old Fashioned. One of the most beloved classic cocktails in the world. But what if we told you you could take this iconic drink to the next level by adding bacon fat? Yes, you heard us right. Bacon fat. Trust us; it's worth a try.

But before we get into the delicious details, let's talk about the history of the Old Fashioned. The origins of this cocktail are shrouded in mystery, but we do know that it dates back to the early 19th century, when it was known simply as a "whiskey cocktail." Over time, the recipe evolved to include sugar, bitters, and water, and eventually, muddled fruit and soda water were added. But the classic version remains a favorite among cocktail enthusiasts to this day.

Now, let's talk about fat-washing. This relatively new technique involves infusing spirits with the flavors of fats, like bacon fat. The concept is simple: mix the fat with your spirit, let it sit for a few hours to allow the flavors to meld, and then remove the solidified fat. The end result is a rich, flavorful spirit that's perfect for cocktails.

So, who invented fat-washing? Well, we have to give credit to Don Lee, a bartender in New York City who pioneered the technique in the mid-2000s. Lee was experimenting with different ways to infuse flavors into spirits, and he came up with the idea of using fat. He found that the fat helped to smooth out the harsh edges of the spirits and added a delicious depth of flavor.

Let's get back to the bacon fat-washed Old Fashioned. To make this drink, you'll need to render some bacon fat. Don't worry, it's not as complicated as it sounds. Just cook up some bacon in a pan and strain the fat through a fine-mesh sieve or cheesecloth to remove any solids. You'll be left with a rich, smoky bacon fat that's perfect for fat-washing.

Mix your bacon fat with bourbon and let it sit for a few hours. This allows the flavors to meld together and gives the bourbon a chance to absorb the delicious smoky flavor of the bacon fat. Then, put the mixture in the freezer until the fat solidifies and can be removed. Strain the bourbon through a coffee filter or cheesecloth to remove any remaining impurities, and you're left with a delicious bacon fat-washed bourbon that's ready to be mixed into your Old Fashioned.

Now, let's talk about some variations of the classic recipe. While the bacon fat-washed Old Fashioned is certainly delicious on its own, there are plenty of ways to mix things up and experiment with new flavors.

One of our favorite variations is the Maple Bacon Old Fashioned, which uses maple syrup instead of sugar and adds a slice of crispy bacon as a garnish. The maple syrup adds a sweet, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the bacon fat and bourbon, and the bacon slice on top is a fun and unexpected touch.

Another variation is the Smoky Mezcal Old Fashioned, which uses mezcal instead of bourbon and adds a splash of smoked paprika to the mix. Mezcal has a bold, smoky flavor that pairs perfectly with the bacon fat, and the smoked paprika adds an extra layer of smoky complexity.

And for those who prefer a sweeter cocktail, the Cherry Old Fashioned is a delicious option. Simply muddle a few fresh cherries in the bottom of your glass before adding the bourbon, sugar, and bitters. The sweetness of the cherries pairs perfectly with the smoky, savory flavor of the bacon fat-washed bourbon, creating a unique and delightful flavor combination.

But let's be real, at the end of the day, the classic bacon fat-washed Old Fashioned is hard to beat. It's the perfect cocktail for a cozy night in, a dinner party with friends, or just because you feel like treating yourself.

We hope we've inspired you to give this delicious drink a try. Don't be afraid to experiment with different flavors and find the variation that suits your taste buds. And remember, if anyone questions your decision to add bacon fat to your drink, just tell them it's a scientific discovery backed by the one and only Don Lee.

In conclusion, the bacon fat-washed Old Fashioned is a unique and delicious twist on the classic cocktail. While the technique of fat-washing may be relatively new, it has quickly become a favorite among bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts alike. And while we can't take credit for inventing fat-washing, we can certainly appreciate the genius of Don Lee and the delicious flavor it adds to our favorite cocktails.

So, next time you're in the mood for a drink that's a little bit smoky, a little bit savory, and a whole lot delicious, give the bacon fat-washed Old Fashioned a try. We promise you won't be disappointed. Cheers!

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