In light of the country’s recent obsession with gluten-free and low-carb food, CrossFit, and juice cleansing, a few bartenders felt the need to bring back the fat. The results are delicious, high-calorie cocktails that are worth traveling for.
Follow the Map
At Pennyroyal in Seattle
“Our restaurant has duck on the menu, so it made sense,” head bartender Chad Phillips says of his decision to create a fowl-fat cocktail. Rendered duck fat and rum are poured in a jar and chilled, and the fat solids are discarded. The remaining rum is shaken with a house-made ginger syrup, honey, lemon for acidic bite, and a light ricotta cheese. Yes, you read that right. Cheese. Once combined, it’s strained into a coup glass. “It’s a surprisingly refreshing, savory cocktail and is easy to drink despite the heavier ingredients,” Phillips said.
The Pearl Diver
At Latitude 29 in New Orleans
Photo: Annene Kaye
The opening of Latitude 29 in the French Quarter was a highly anticipated event for Tiki cocktail fans. A spin on one of their barstools should be on everyone’s must-do list for New Orleans this year, and we recommend requesting the Pearl Diver, because butter, it turns out, isn’t just for biscuits. The madmen behind the stick here are using the age-old cooking staple in a rum cocktail with fresh lime juice and passion fruit, served over a mountain of cold crushed ice. If you like the glassware, you can order a few for your home bar. They were designed specifically for the drink and are for sale on Cocktail Kingdom’s website.
The Murdock Never Dies
At Goodbar in Goleta, Calif.
This one starts with the chef’s extra pork belly, infused into Four Roses bourbon in a six-hour process. “The Murdock Never Dies is a big, bold, savory bomb of a cocktail,” says bartender/drink creator Chris Burmeister. “It’s not your quinoa vodka, raw kale juice, health-conscious type of drink. However, I think any person would be hard-pressed to not enjoy it.”
To the pork-belly-bourbon, he uses a balancing heat from housemade, cayenne maple syrup, a dry and bracing Drysack Oloroso sherry, and a dash of Angostura bitters that are smoked with cherry wood.
The Mississippi Flip
At Prohibition in Charleston, S.C.
A cocktail spot in Charleston put a tipple on its menu to test your personal trainer’s patience. It’s based on a traditional Flip-style cocktail, which classically features an entire egg that’s shaken very hard with vanilla extract, Mississippi-brand Cathead pecan vodka, white crème de cacao, and heavy cream. If the current calorie load doesn’t make you pause, don’t worry because they are not done yet. It’s garnished with dark chocolate, nutmeg, and a deep-fried mini Baby Ruth bar.
The Devil Went Down To Nashville
At The 404 Kitchen in Nashville
Courtesy: The 404 Kitchen
This drink is downright intimidating to read in print, but it all comes together brilliantly. Travis Brazil – who’s somewhat of a bar maverick at the helm of the illustrious 404 Kitchen – uses a warm, rendered chicken fat in a stirred cocktail. The drink’s base is Belle Meade sherry-cask bourbon, to which he adds Langlois creme de cassis and a tiny amount of Black Strap molasses. The garnish is an ode to Nashville. The glass is rimmed with local Hattie B’s Hot Chicken Spice Rub.
The Mint Chocolate Milk Punch
At Forrest Point in Bushwick, Brooklyn
Courtesy: Forrest Point
“The term ‘Milk Punch’ is a little deceptive,” says Gareth Howells, who created this cocktail with Tanteo Cocoa Tequila, Branca Menta, Godiva Chocolate Liquor, cocoa nibs, orange, lemon, Ceylon tea, spearmint, nutmeg, cinnamon, grated chocolate, and a mint sprig garnish.
“Milk is used as part of the process, but the finished product is a transparent liquid. One of the most crucial parts of the process is the filtering, which is designed to remove all the suspended solids in the drink. The reaction we get from our customers when they receive it is normally along the lines of, ‘Wow, that was not what I was expecting.’ People are usually expecting a cloudy, milk-based drink.” Instead, they get something that looks like simple whiskey and tastes like a scoop of mint chocolate chip ice cream.
The Chef’s Old Fashioned
At Bestia, in Los Angeles
Lard isn’t the world’s sexiest ingredient, but we keep it around because it makes everything much, much tastier. Cocktails too, apparently. Bestia’s twist on this classic has fat-washed Old Forester bourbon, sweetened by a simple syrup that’s smoked with hickory chips. They add sea salt and Angostura bitters and serve it with a hand-cut ice sphere and an orange twist. “I came up with the idea for the cocktail after watching a Texan on YouTube cook a steak in his backyard with a garden hose duct taped to the roof of the grill, and the other end was inserted in a bottle of bourbon,” cocktail director Jeremy Simpson said. “I thought to myself, there is no way that I am not doing this.”
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