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The latest trend in bartending is “fat-washing”: using tasty fats to flavor cocktails.
Mixologists are adding pork drippings, sesame oil, duck fat – even bacon grease – to alcohol and chilling it for a few hours. The solidified fat is then strained or skimmed off the top of the drink and is supposed to leave a savory flavor behind. But is it dangerous to your health?
ER Physician Dr. Travis Stork samples bacon-infused bourbon. “It tastes really good!” he admits. OB/GYN Dr. Nita Landry and Plastic Surgeon Dr. Andrew Ordon take sips as well. “I'd put those on my pancakes!” comments Dr. Ordon.
Next, they try a Bacon Old Fashioned, a concoction of bacon-washed bourbon, maple syrup, bitters, and orange peel and bacon strip garnish. “I just grew a little hair on my chest!” says Dr. Landry.
They move on to a Sangrita de Chorizo with chorizo tequila, lime juice, Bloody Mary mix, chili powder, garnished with a chorizo slice and a fresh chili.
“I don't know what this says about me, but I do like it!” says Dr. Stork.
The last drink on the menu is a Sesame-Ginger Mule – sesame-oil-infused vodka, a little fresh ginger, lime juice, and club soda. To say the least, this is not popular with The Doctors. Dr. Landry has to wash away the taste with a bit of the bacon bourbon.
Dr. Stork thinks that in general, fat-washing is a good idea – adding flavor without the health effects of actually consuming the fats. And it's definitely better for you than mixed drinks that get their flavor from tons of sugar.