The Story Behind The Ancient Old Fashioned

Fat-washing, a popular practice in certain cocktail circles, sounds a lot harder to execute than it actually is. You simply combine the spirit of your choosing with a fatty ingredient, freeze the mixture, and then skim the fat that collects at the top. That’s it! You’ve just fat-washed.

At Hutong, an NYC restaurant inspired by northern Chinese cuisine, bartenders fat-wash bourbon with sesame oil for this clever riff on an Old Fashioned. If you have any sesame-infused bourbon leftover (unlikely), it also makes a tasty Highball with tonic.


  • 1 ounce sesame oil-infused bourbon (recipe follows)
  • 1 ounce Hennessy Black
  • ¼ ounce Benedictine
  • 5 drops Bittermens Xocolatl Mole bitters
  • 1 whole lantern chili for garnish (optional)


  1. Combine all liquid ingredients in a mixing bowl with ice.
  2. Stir vigorously.
  3. Strain into a double rocks glass over one large ice cube.
  4. Garnish with chili, if using.

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Updated: 2022-03-17

Sesame-Infused Bourbon Ingredients

  • 10 ounces bourbon
  • 2 ounces sesame oil

Sesame-Infused Bourbon Directions

  1. Combine ingredients in a bottle and shake vigorously.
  2. Cover and let rest overnight.
  3. After resting, pour mixture into a large, shallow bowl and place in the freezer.
  4. When the mixture is frozen, heavy solids will freeze at the top. Remove top layer and discard, storing the remaining sesame-infused bourbon in a covered bottle.
The Ancient Old Fashioned