How to Ultrasonically Fat-Wash Spirits
- A fat-washed spirit is an alcoholic beverage infused with oil or fat.
- High-power ultrasound waves produce very fine emulsions and increase thereby the mass transfer between the two phases.
- By ultrasonic fat washing, the spirit is infused with the flavour profile of the oil and obtains thereby a unique new taste.
Alcohol has the capability to dissolve both oil-soluble and water-soluble flavors. In fat-washed alcohol, oil or fat is used as the flavor-giving ingredient. In oils, e.g. sesame oil, and fats, e.g. duck fat, the majority of the aroma compounds are fat-soluble. With the fat-wash technique, the spirit is infused with the oil’s aroma components.
Ultrasonication creates very small droplets and thereby fine emulsions. Due to the micron-/nano-sized droplets, the mass transfer between the alcohol and oil is significantly improved. A higher mass transfer means that more flavour components are transferred into the alcohol. The spirits adopt the fat’s flavor, but not its greasiness.
120g / 4 oz intensely tasting fat OR 240g / 8 oz (or 6 fl oz.) for less intensive fats / oil
750ml (25 fl oz.) of spirit (e.g. vodka, gin, rum)
Ultrasonic Fat-Washing – Step by Step:
- Pour the liquid fat such as olive oil, coconut oil or bacon fat into a beaker.
- Add the spirit and sonicate the mixture for a very fine emulsion.
- Fill the liquid blend into a glass jar and let it sit at room temperature for approx. 5 min for the flavours to infuse.
- Afterwards, put the jar in the freezer overnight.
- The next day, the fat would have solidified on top of the spirit.
- Use a knife to make a hole through the congealed fat and strain the fat-washed spirit through a cheesecloth.
- Strain for a second time through a coffee filter to remove any left over fat particles.
Good combinations for fat-washed alcohols are:
- rum and coconut oil
- vodka and truffle oil
- bourbon and melted smokey bacon fat
- vodka/gin and olive oil
- vodka/mezcal and avocado oil
- gin and sesame oil
- gin and milk
- tequila and buttered popcorn
- scotch and brown butter
- calvados and duck foie gras fat
Ultrasonic Devices for Mixology
Hielscher Ultrasonics offers various models of compact ultrasonic devices for the use in bars and restaurants. Our hand-held device UP200Ht (200W) with digital control and colored touch display is the most popular ultrasonicator for bartenders and mixologists. The UP200Ht is a light-weight, compact device, that delivers up to 200W. With its reliable and continuous high power output, the UP200Ht supplies the energy needed to form fine emulsions and nanoemulsions, to extract flavour components and to infuse spirits. Its unique design makes the UP200Ht an eye-catcher in every bar and impresses bartenders and their guests with visual and gustatory results.
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Facts Worth Knowing
Benton’s Old Fashioned is probably the most famous drink including bacon-fat infused bourbon as a key ingredient. The first appearance made Benton’s Old Fashioned in New York, where it has been created 2008 by Don Lee at one of Manhattan’s most prominent bars – the PDT (which stands for “Please Don’t Tell”)
- 2 oz bacon fat-washed Bourbon
- 1⁄4 oz Grade B maple syrup
- 1 twst Orange peel
- 2 ds Bitters, Angostura
With the right ingredients on hand, a Benton’s Old Fashioned is quickly prepared. The ingredients are put into a mixing beaker, stirred, strained and then poured over a large ice cube in a lowball glass. Garnish with an orange twist.
Other popular cocktails, which feature fat-washed liquors as their essential key component, are e.g. Coconut Negroni (using coconut fat-washed pisco), Duck Hunt (with duck fat-washed bourbon), Iberico & Bourbon (with pork-fat washed bourbon), Buck & Butter (with nutmeg butter-washed bourbon), or Polynesian Pearl Diver (with butter-washed scotch).