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The Drink: Wagyu Whisky
Price: $49 for two ounces
Where to Get It: BLT Steak; 1625 I St. NW; (202) 689-8999
What It Is: Twelve-year-old single malt Hakushu Japanese whisky infused with top-grade A5 Wagyu beef, which is both extravagantly expensive and widely considered to be some of the best beef in the world. Head bartender James Nelson calls the decadent drink his “science project.” He usually makes and sells a bottle’s worth of the premium potable a week, though a party of 20 diners recently bought out his entire supply in a single order.
What It Tastes Like: With fuller, rounder body than the unadulterated Hakushu, it’s a truly Rubenesque whisky. The subtle but evident beef flavor mellows out the slightly malty spirit’s sharper edges and adds an unctuous texture.
The Story: It took Nelson some “expensive trial and error” to get the recipe right. First, he renders the Wagyu down, and then seals it in a bag with the liquor. The meaty mixture is cooked sous vide for nine hours at 136 degrees Fahrenheit. “That’s below the boiling point of alcohol, so the whisky isn’t damaged,” he explains. After some time in the freezer, the fat that has risen to the top is scraped off, and the remaining liquid is strained through cheesecloth. It’s served neat, though Nelson likes it with a single ice cube to help the whisky’s flavor open up a little.
How To Drink It: It’s a sipper, not a slammer. After all, when you’re spending $49 on two ounces of anything, you should savor it.
Photo courtesy BLT Steak