The Benton’s Old-Fashioned is the drink that introduced the concept of “fat-washing” spirits—a technique of flavoring liquor with cooking fats—to the cocktail world. Created by former PDT bartender Don Lee, the Benton’s seemed, at first, overly labor-intensive. “Originally, I told him fat-washing was too much to ask of our barbacks,” says PDT owner Jim Meehan. “So I asked him to make the bourbon in his house.” And so Don Lee, a notoriously innovative bartender, began fat-washing bourbon in his kitchen. “To my surprise, it became our best selling cocktail,” says Meehan. “We make at least 150 a week, which means we go through upwards of 12 bottles of fat-washed bourbon in that same amount of time.”
Reprinted with permission from The PDT Cocktail Book © 2011 by Jim Meehan, Sterling Epicure an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc.