(Video link here –sorry about the commercial). We long been a fan of working subtle smoky-pig flavors into our cooking by using a good wood-smoked bacon – even using it to perfume chocolate cakelets. And we’ve always LOVED Maialino‘s margarita made with guanciale-and-sage-infused reposado tequila. Recently, we came across a recipe we’d bookmarked from New York Magazine some time ago, for PDT Bar’s Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned. It gives the method for infusing spirits – bourbon, tequila, whatever – with bacon. Perfect for making special holiday cocktails (and we just though of eggnog spiked with a slightly smoky dark rum).
In the video, you can see how to infuse spirits with bacon at .55 secs. The recipe for the bacon-infusion AND the Old Fashioned are below, along with our method for rendering bacon fat and notations.
Recipe: PDT’s Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned
FOR THE BOURBON- BACON INFUSION:
3 or 4 slices extra-smoky bacon (about 3 ounces), cut into 1 inch pieces (PDT uses Benton’s bacon)
1 750-ml. bottle of bourbon such as Four Roses Yellow Label (We’d probably use Wild Turkey; you could also use this method to infuse other spirits)
Place the bacon in a skillet big enough for it to fit it in one layer. Cover and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until much of the fat is melted and the bacon is brown. Strain the fat into a bowl and eat the bacon bits. Allow the fat to cool to lukewarm, pour off one ounce from pan.
Pour the bourbon into a non-reactive container and add 2 tablespoons of the fat. Set aside to infuse for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature.
Place the mixture in freezer until all the fat is solidified. With a slotted spoon, remove the fat (reserve for cooking anything you don’t mind having a bourbon-ish flavor in). Strain the bourbon into a measuring cup and then pour it back into the bottle.
FOR THE OLD FASHIONED:
2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon (see above)
1/4 ounce Grade B maple syrup (or about 1 1/2 teaspoons superfine sugar)
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Twist of orange
In mixing glass, stir 2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters with ice. Strain into chilled rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with orange twist.
We’re going to start working on infusing some reposado tequila with guanciale and sage…
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2 replies on “smoky, bacon-infused spirits for holiday cocktails”
I am so grateful for this recipe! My husband and I were given Benton’s bacon for an anniversary present, and I must say it was one of the best presents we’ve ever had! I especially love the part about eating the bacon bits! No part ever wasted!
What a swell gift to receive, and for an anniversary! That will make SOME infusion. Let us know how it comes out. And Happy Anniversary!