Hot buttered rum is an easy way to transform a cold winter night into a #cozyscenario. Unfortunately, this creamy, boozy mix of rum, hot water and spiced butter often arrives topped with an unappetizing, shimmering oil slick. Bartender Duane Sylvestre of Bourbon Steak DC has a fix: fat-washing.
Fat-washing is a technique commonly used these days to infuse a spirit with the flavor of some sort of fatty meat without any of the fat. If you’ve ever had a bacon Manhattan, you’ve probably enjoyed the fruits of someone’s fat-washing labor. But in the case of his hot buttered rum, Sylvestre opts to impart the flavor of spiced butter to water instead of bacon to bourbon.
To make the butter-flavored broth, he browns butter; adds whole spices, ginger, sugar and water; then puts the liquid in the fridge. The fat rises to the top, leaving a creamy liquid below. Sylvestre pokes a hole in the solids, pours out the sweet, spiced broth, heats it up and mixes it with rum. The result is a rich, oil slick-free, creamy cup of warm, buttery rum. “It’s super goody goody,” Sylvestre says. “They won’t let me take it off the menu.” Here, the recipe for his fat-washed buttered rum.