Are you interested in maximizing the use of your liquor? In the comfort of your own home, what if we shared some strange but charming tips and tricks that could elevate your whiskey from “meh” to “genius”? Fascinated yet? I would have thought that! Here are several experiments to help you improve your whiskey, whether you’re a professional home mixologist or just someone who enjoys playing around with your bourbon. These are the three most unexpected uses for whiskey.
What Is Fat-Washing Bourbon?
To start, when you hear the term “fat-washing,” don’t think of a way to get tough stains out of clothes. It’s a reference to a creative cocktail method that can enhance the flavor of your preferred whiskey with savory notes. Plus, there are a few important differences from infusing whiskey. Sesame oil or melted butter are two examples of liquids that can be added to craft spirit while it is at room temperature. After a few hours of sitting, transfer to the refrigerator or freezer to solidify the fat, making it easy to skim off the alcohol’s surface. The end product is an alcoholic beverage that tastes just like fat but has none of the fat itself. Please Don’t Tell (PDT) in New York City was the site of the first attempt at this technique by bartender Don Lee. Lee made the bold decision to combine two American classics—bourbon and bacon—into a libation. What came out of it? The Benton’s Old-Fashioned, a cocktail with bacon became popular very quickly. Everything from peanut butter to a whole grilled cheese sandwich has been fat-washed with alcohol since then, according to bartenders.
Mash Up Some Smokey Cocktails
The smokiness of wood chips, when combined with your preferred bourbon cocktail, imparts a flavor similar to that of charring a well-done steak. The flame is the most distinctive feature of a smoked bourbon cocktail. Smoking liquor can be done in a variety of ways; some include washing the glass and the entire drink with smoke, using a smoking gun, or even just smoking alcohol in a batch using wood chips and your grill. Smoking the liquid can be done in a variety of ways, but you don’t need expensive or complex gear to get good results. You can also try out other flavors by experimenting with different types of wood, herbs, vanilla beans, citrus peels, and so on. When you put it all together, you have a drink with more depth and a multi-sensory experience that anyone with the correct tools and imagination can make at home.
“Infinity Bottles” Are All The Rage
You can make your blended whiskey—like pretty much anything else—these days. Modern spirits connoisseurs are getting creative with “infinity bottles,” which entail filling an empty bottle to the brim with pours from other bottles to create one-of-a-kind mixtures. So the bottle is never really empty—as it gets low, a splash from another bottle is added, giving it the “infinity” appellation.
You shouldn’t just slap some liquors together without giving it any thought, but there are no strict guidelines for making blended spirits. Discovering the perfect equilibrium and subtlety is key. There are a lot of upsides to giving an infinity bottle a go. A creative approach to home blending is one benefit. Plus, you can put those nearly empty bottles that have been gathering dust in your booze cupboard to good use. Perhaps you will be able to achieve a flavor profile that surpasses even your most beloved whisky.
Wake Up and Smell the Whiskey
For coffee aficionados and whiskey lovers alike, here’s a crossover that will make your mornings infinitely better. Bourbon barrel-aged coffee beans offer a unique way to start your day with a hint of your favorite nightcap. The beans are aged in used bourbon barrels, absorbing the whiskey’s rich flavors without the alcohol content. Brew a cup of this special blend and find yourself enveloped in a cloud of aromatic bliss that bridges the gap between your cozy bed and your bustling day ahead. It’s the kind of wake-up call everyone dreams of.
So Whiskey Caviar Is a Thing?
Have you ever thought about sipping your whiskey… with a spoon? Welcome to the world of whiskey caviar! This isn’t your average bar snack. By borrowing techniques from molecular gastronomy, specifically spherification, you can transform your favorite bourbon into tiny, delectable pearls. Imagine the surprise and delight at your next gathering when you serve a spoonful of whiskey that bursts in your mouth, releasing a wave of flavor. It’s like a science experiment meets gourmet dining, and it’s sure to elevate your home bartending game to celebrity status.
Imagine a vanilla bean panna cotta adorned with glistening whiskey pearls, each bite offering a burst of bourbon that complements the creamy sweetness of the dessert. This technique not only adds an element of sophisticated flavor but also introduces an unexpected textural contrast that will intrigue and delight your dinner guests. It’s a perfect marriage of culinary art and mixology that elevates simple desserts into memorable masterpieces.
Why let wine have all the fun with fruit when bourbon can do it better? Submerging cherries, pineapples, or even peaches in bourbon not only gives you a snack that packs a punch but also leaves you with a fruit-infused bourbon that’s out of this world. Think of it as a snack and cocktail enhancer rolled into one. Serve these boozy fruits over ice cream or alongside a cheese platter, and watch your guests marvel at your culinary creativity.
Simmer the bourbon-soaked fruits with a touch of brown sugar and a dash of cinnamon until they break down into a luscious, syrupy mixture. This homemade compote not only utilizes the deep flavors of the bourbon but also infuses your breakfasts with a gourmet touch that’s surprisingly easy to achieve.
Whiskey Infused Salt
Salt meets spirit in this culinary crossover. Infusing sea salt with whiskey creates a seasoning that can add a smoky, umami kick to your steaks, roasted vegetables, or even the rim of your cocktail glasses. It’s a simple process: just mix flaky sea salt with bourbon, let it dry, and voilà—you’ve got yourself whiskey salt. This little trick can turn an ordinary meal into an extraordinary experience, blending the worlds of fine dining and fine sipping with each grain of salt.
Get a Whiskey Facial
Who said whiskey is just for drinking? A whiskey facial might sound like a Friday night gone wrong, but it’s a clever use of bourbon’s antiseptic and astringent properties. Mix a little bourbon with honey and lemon for a face mask that can help clarify and tone the skin. It’s a bit unconventional, sure, but imagine the bragging rights when you reveal your glowing complexion is courtesy of your liquor cabinet. Just remember, it’s for external use only!
Who knew that a simple bottle of whiskey could unlock such a treasure trove of homegrown experiments? As you’ve seen, the realm of possibilities extends far beyond the bar. From dessert toppings that’ll have your guests asking for seconds to a morning brew that marries the best parts of waking up with the allure of a good drink, these clever hacks are sure to impress. And for those who like a dash of self-care with their spirits, the idea of a whiskey-infused facial or beard oil might just be the secret ingredient you never knew you needed.