How to Make a Benton’s Old Fashioned, a Bourbon Cocktail Made With Real Bacon 

In retrospect, Don Lee's basic concept—what if we added bacon?—may not sound all that revolutionary, but in 2007 it was nothing short of revolutionary.  

To be sure, mixed drinks had previously included bacon. Any idiot may (and many have) place a slice of cold bacon on the rim of an Old Fashioned to leave gross oily splotches on the glass or drop a piece of bacon into a Bloody Mary to make it odd and soggy at the bottom of the drink,    

but the Benton's Old Fashioned is different. It is methodical, exact, and scientific—a technological as much as a flavor revolution. Benton's Old Fashioned is a souffle, if the other beverages are scrambles.   

The innovative idea was to take off the bacon rather than add it. Bacon is a favorite food of all people, but nobody likes to see greasy slicks forming at the top of their beverages. But how can the fat be removed?    

You may already be aware of how hard it is to extract oil from water, but what about alcohol? It turns out that the solution—which bartenders all over the world now refer to as "fat washing"—would require a few chefs to borrow from a long line of perfumers.   

It works like this: An 80-proof spirit has a freezing point of less than -10°F, or roughly 40 degrees lower than water, and about 110 degrees lower than animal fat. This is because alcohol, as you well know from the bottle of vodka in the freezer, has a drastically low freezing point.    

That means you can easily remove fat from alcohol by simply freezing it. The fat will freeze into tiny pieces that can be easily removed with a coffee filter, leaving you with a richly flavorful infusion that contains almost no fat (see note below recipe).   

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