Recipe: Bacon Bourbon and Benton's Old Fashioned
What happens when you mix the most heavenly food on earth (Bacon) with the water of life (Whiskey)? Magic.
I found this recipe in the cocktail book from one of my bucket-list bars, PDT in New York. The recipe introduced me to something called "fat-washing." Basically to fat-wash alcohol is to allow the fat to sit in booze for a period of time before it is placed in the freezer to make the fat solid and thus easy to strain out.
As for the science behind fat-washing, we know that fat doesn't dissolve in water (unfortunately). However, it does dissolve in ethanol which is a key part of alcohol. So as the fat sits in the bourbon, the ethanol dissolves some of the fat into the alcohol and keeps the flavor after the solids have been strained out. When the alcohol is placed in the freezer the fat hardens quickly and the booze stays liquid.
Now I know this recipe may seem intimidating, but it is actually pretty darn easy and worth it.
1 750 ML bottle of Four Roses Bourbon
1 1/2 ounces of bacon fat
After making your morning helping of bacon, pour the bacon into a dish where it can be saved and stored. You will need an ounce and a half for one bottle of the bacon bourbon.
Pour the bourbon into a larger container for infusion. The bottle it comes in isn't large enough for the bacon fat to be poured in. I learned this the hard way.
Once you are ready to start infusing, melt the bacon fat in a sauce pan. Once it is molten (not boiling), pour it into the container with the bourbon.
Allow the fat to infuse for four hours.
Once four hours is up, place the container in the freezer for about two hours.
Once the fat has been solidified, strain it using cheesecloth into a bottle for serving.
The bourbon is pretty versatile. It can be used for just about anything that regular bourbon can be used, but keep in mind that it is a little smokier so pairing it with something sweet works best.
Benton's Old Fashioned
2 ounces of Bacon Bourbon
1/2 ounce of grade B maple syrup
3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
1 orange peel for garnish
Pour half ounce of grade B maple syrup into a chilled Old Fashioned glass.
Add three dashes of Angostura bitters.
Add a large piece of ice. Stir until the maple syrup and bitters have been chilled.
Pour about two ounces of the bacon infused bourbon into the glass. Stir until chilled.
Add an orange peel for garnish. Be sure to express the oils over the top of the drink.
This drink is like breakfast in your mouth. Sweet, bacony goodness that warms you from the inside. It can be enjoyed at anytime; breakfast, brunch, night time, really anytime. It is good enough that we have already remade it a few times and some lucky souls will be receiving it as a Christmas gift. If bacon bourbon doesn't say love then you have something evil in you.