While I can chug Jameson as a part of an Irish Car Bomb all day and thoroughly enjoy a Jack Daniels’ barbecue glaze, you wouldn’t catch me ordering a Long Island Iced Tea, a whiskey sour, or bourbon on the rocks. I never acquired the taste for whiskey and still struggle to develop the palate for it.
So when I came across an article in Togue Magazine about bacon-infused bourbon, I knew I found just the ticket.
Mixologist David Lee got into more details in the article about fat washing. But it comes down to simple few steps and voila! All the tasty smoky goodness without the grease!
My first experiment I did with cheap grocery store brand bacon and Jim Beam I had on hand. I tasted the result. Yep. Still tasted like whiskey to me...gag...gag...
Wait, was that a hint of bacon I got at the end? Not willing to swig more of this, I got my friend @DavidMoyle, a bourbon guy, to be my lab rat.
He said he can definitely taste the bacon. And he thought it might’ve just improved the Jim Beam, even. Paulette at Girl + Fire did the same experiment with scotch after I’ve told her about mine and she said the same.
Now we are ready for the large scale upscale production: Maker’s Mark and apple smoked bacon for David’s birthday present.
This was a large scale operation. 1 lb. of fatty apple smoked bacon (about half a cup of grease) to about 1 liter of the 1.75 liter bottle of Maker’s Mark. Awesome gift for your boozing friends especially when you can get some cool bottles from Cost Plus World Market.
I kept tasting and tasting and I thought the bacon essence was too little. Then again, I kept cringing at the taste of whiskey that I couldn't taste anything else. David and Cara (@remarx) said it was just perfect.
I brought the bottle to the bar we were meeting for David's bash. We were caught sneaking our tasting sips out of the paper bag by our waiter. However, after explaining the nature of the bourbon, instead of making David walk the bottle back to his car, the waiter asked his manager who happened to be a bourbon lover if it was okay.
He brought out classes for us to properly tasted it and that was that. We, of course, poured him, his manager AND the bartender a taster each too. LOL. They love bourbon at that bar and apparently I’ve just given them some ideas!
So now. The recipe you can’t muck up for just the regular sized 750 ml. bottle of Maker's Mark.
- 4-6 slices of apple smoked bacon. The fattier the better because we want the grease.
- One 750 ml. bottle of Maker’s Mark
- A wide mouth glass or ceramic container e.g. a pitcher, a jar
- Optional: paper coffee filter or cheese cloth.
Pour in your bottle Maker’s Mark. Stir. Put on a lid or cover with plastic wrap. Sit out in room temperature for 6-8 hours.
Put the jar in the freezer for 30 minutes or fridge overnight. The fat will solidify into a lid. Remove the fat.
For extra measure to make sure there’s no grease or bacon particles left floating in your bourbon, pour the bacon bourbon through cheese cloth or coffee filter.
Re-bottle. Re-label. Enjoy!
Oh, and just a precaution in case the bacon greasy goodness might go rancid on you, I keep my batch in the fridge.
Now, the big question is this: Did I like drinking my own creation? Unfortunately, the bacon just isn’t enough incentive for me to like the taste of whiskey.
But hey, I get to eat the all the cooked bacon afterward. I’m not complaining!