Why It Works
- Washing the bourbon with butter infuses it with the alcohol-soluble aromatics in the fat.
- Premixing the cocktail makes it simple for guests to serve themselves.
If you love a classic Old Fashioned, this rich, butter-enhanced twist will be right up your alley. Fat-washing is a simple process that infuses liquor with all the alcohol-soluble flavors in fat. It's a great trick to fancify any not-so-great whiskey into something smooth and rich. As a bonus, the butter becomes flavored with spicy notes of bourbon, perfect for your next batch of shortbread or for basting a pan-seared steak.
This recipe is for a batched drink, which transforms the whole bottle of whiskey into 12 cocktails, so guests can help themselves throughout an evening. Feel free to multiply the batch as needed.
- 1 bottle bourbon (25 ounces; 750ml)
- 1 cup butter (8 ounces; 224g)
- 1/4 cup turbinado sugar (2 ounces; 60g)
- 24 to 36 dashes bitters
For the Bourbon: Pour bourbon into a freezer-safe, resealable plastic container. In a small saucepot over medium heat, melt butter and stir with a whisk until the solids brown, about 5 minutes. Immediately whisk butter into bourbon. Cover and freeze until butter rises to the top and solidifies, at least 1 hour and up to overnight.
Remove butter from bourbon and reserve for basting meat, cooking vegetables, or baking. Strain buttered bourbon through a fine-mesh strainer to remove any remaining droplets of butter.
For the Cocktails: Dissolve turbinado sugar in 1/2 cup hot water (4 ounces; 120ml). Combine bourbon with sugar syrup and bitters. For each cocktail, serve the pre-batched Old Fashioned mixture on the rocks in a tumbler, or stirred with ice and then strained into a cocktail glass.
Fine-mesh strainer, whisk