I have been wanting to write this post for a while. Upon tasting the Bacon Old Fashioned at the Patterson House over a year ago, I have told myself that I was going to make my own Bacon Bourbon. Well here it is…
If you have been following the blog for a while, you will probably notice that I enjoy Bacon. I am a firm believer in the theory that you can add bacon to anything and make it better. Could bacon improve bourbon? In Tennessee, I had seen that it could, but could I recreate it? Well there was only one way to find out.
The only two ingredients you need for this infusion are bacon and bourbon. You can use whatever kinds you like, but the higher quality bacon and higher quality bourbon you use will yield the best result. I am not suggesting using an insanely expensive bourbon, but I would step it up from anything that has a nautical theme or comes in a plastic bottle. While I was sipping on my bacon old fashioned, the waitress informed me that the bacon bourbon was infused through a method called fat washing.
It might sound complicated, but it is incredibly easy. The method is combing a fat ( in this case bacon grease) with an alcohol (bourbon) and then freezing to separate the two. You can use vodka, whiskey, or any other alcohol you wish, I just like Bourbon. Bourbon shouldn’t freeze. If it does, that means someone has been watering down your booze and you might have to have a talk with a roommate or your kids. When a liquid fat is cooled it solidifies. Using a filter (like a coffee filter) you can separate the fat from the liquid. Through some acts of chemistry, the bacon taste remains! Its magic! Well not magic, there is something about the flavor compounds in fat that will dissolve into alcohol leaving them behind when frozen. But it is still really awesome! Now that you understand the process, here is how I made it.
Bourbon that has the taste of bacon, need I say any more?
Yields approx 10 oz of Bourbon
2 oz of your favorite liquid bacon fat ( I was able to get enough from cooking 4 pieces of bacon)
10 oz of your favorite bourbon
Using a mason jar, add the bacon fat followed by the bourbon. I use a mason jar for several reasons. They have measuring notes on the side, they have a lid that is water tight, and well they just look cool. Give it a few shakes and then put it in the refrigerator for a day. You could go longer, but I was too impatient. After a day, I found that the bacon flavor and smell was there so in my mind it worked.
Put the jar in the freezer for 30-45min. This will make sure all the fat has solidified. The jar will look pretty gross on the inside. The bacon fat will have solidified into solid white chunks throughout the jar. Remove the large chunks with a fork. The smaller bits will need to be removed with a strainer or filter. Pour the remaining fat and bourbon through a disposable coffee filter and into an additional mason jar for storage. You might have to do small bits at a time, but be patient, the end result will be worth it. Once filtered, your Bacon Bourbon is ready to use!
So what to do with this Bourbon? Well you could drink it on the rocks or make a cocktail with it. I decided to go the cocktail route. Inspired by drinks I had in Birmingham and San Francisco, I devised this.
Using my bacon bourbon and combining with with pressed apple juice and cream soda, I came up with what I call the Boozy Bacon Apple.
Boozy Bacon Apple
Makes 1 drink.
2 oz bacon bourbon
4 ounces pressed apple juice
2 ounces cream soda.
Place all ingredients in a shaker and shake thoroughly. Pour over a glass filled with ice. There are 2 oz of booze in here, you won’t really taste it, so be careful. Garnish with an apple slice.
I hope you have enjoyed learning about Bacon Bourbon. If you are a bacon fan you have to give this one a try. It will be worth it. Next week I will show you what I did with the 4 pieces of bacon.