It seems like every 6 months or so I have to pay my dues in the kitchen and end up sustaining some sort of injury (remember the mandolin slicer incident last summer or the gnarly caramel burn of 2012?). Last night I was chopping some onion and somehow chopped right into my thumb. As Lance put it, it’s a good thing my finger nail was there cuz I would have sliced right through. Ick. I guess it’s bound to happen every now and again since I spend so much time in the kitchen? Please tell me I’m not alone..
Enough about my crazy kitchen mishaps, let’s get down to business and talk about putting bacon in our bourbon.
Yeah it’s a real thing.
We start with a bottle of bourbon – your choice of brand/quality here. Since the smoky bacon flavor takes charge you don’t need a high end bourbon, something middle of the road will work perfectly, but by all means use what you like. I used a bottle of Four Roses (bonus, it was on sale!).
Now lets talk about bacon – Here’s where you want to splurge. You want a bacon that’s rich and smoky. Again, use what you like but smoked is the key. I don’t really eat much bacon, but my dad recommended I use Nueskes applewood smoked bacon.
With bacon and bourbon in hand we’re ready to start infusing. I initially wasn’t exactly sure it was safe to shove some meat into liquor, so I did a bit of googling and stumbled upon a process called fat washing. It sounds kinda gross (or at least to me!) but the end result is anything but. The process is actually quite easy and take less than 24 hours to execute.
The process starts with a little bacon fat that we mix with our bourbon – then we freeze it to separate the fat back out of the bourbon. The end result is smooth with that smoky bacon flavor. There is no trace of greasiness from the fat but all the flavor from it.
A bottle of this would make a fabulous homemade gift for a dad (PS Fathers Day is right around the corner!) or would make a good gift for pretty much any bacon (or bourbon) lover in your life.
Besides enjoying it on the rocks, you can mix it into a Bacon & Brown Sugar Old Fashioned – or could be made into a fancy Manhattan and even mixed with a little orange juice (hello, breakfast cocktail).
- 4 slices smoked bacon
- 1 (750 ml) bottle of bourbon
- In a large skillet cook bacon until done. Pour fat from the pan into a small bowl and let cool– you should have about 1 ounce.
- In a large glass bowl combine the bottle of bourbon, reserved bacon fat and 1 slice of bacon. Cover the bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for 5 to 6 hours.
- Move bowl into the freezer and freeze for about 8 hours or until the fat has frozen solid. Carefully remove solidified fat and bacon slice from the bowl and discard. Strain the bourbon through 2 layers of cheesecloth back into the bottle or other storage container.