Courtesy Bacon 24/7
You’ve wrapped everything from hot dogs to tater tots in bacon, but now it’s time to wrap your head around a new way to use your favorite cured meat: in a happy hour drink.
The new cookbook Bacon 24/7: Recipes for Curing, Smoking and Eating includes instructions on how to make everything from bacon-stuffed French toast to bacon baklava. But the recipe that really gets our frying pan going is a cocktail made with bacon-infused bourbon.
It sounds fancy, but it’s about as easy to make as a BLT. There are just two ingredients — bacon fat and your favorite bourbon — and the result is a rich, almost silky liquor with just the right hint of addictive, smoky flavor. Mix it into a riff on a classic Manhattan, a stiff and simple cocktail that takes well to a little jazzing up.
If you’re running the new Bacon Chase 5K, we can’t think of a better way to toast at the finish line.
2-3 dashes bitters
1½ oz. bacon-infused bourbon (recipe below)
½ oz. dry vermouth
¼ oz. sweet vermouth
1 strip crisp, cooked bacon, for garnish
1 cherry (maraschino or brandied), for garnish
1 twist orange rind, for garnish
1. Swirl bitters in a chilled martini glass.
2. Fill a cocktail shaker with large ice cubes and add the bourbon and vermouths. Shake vigorously, then strain the cocktail into the prepared martini glass.
3. Cut bacon into small squares. Garnish with a skewered cherry, orange rind and bacon pieces. Serve immediately.
2 oz. bacon fat
1½ cups bourbon
1. To clarify the bacon fat, melt fat and strain into a bowl. Add 4 oz. boiling water. Stir well and leave until melted fat has set into a cake above the water. Remove cake, scraping off any sediment from the bottom, then melt again.
2. Combine bourbon and bacon fat in a quart-size jar. Seal with a tightly fitting lid and shake vigorously. Leave the bourbon to infuse at room temperature for 5-8 hours.
3. Put the jar in the freezer and freeze until all of the bacon fat has solidified at the surface of the bourbon, about 1 hour. Scoop off and discard the bacon fat and strain the bourbon through a fine mesh sieve lined with 2 coffee filters. Extra bacon-infused bourbon can be stored at room temperature for up to 2 weeks, or in the refrigerator for up to 6 months.
Note: This technique can be used to add a bacon scent to many different liquids or liquors.