Mixology at Home - Bacon-Bourbon Old Fashioned
RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - National Bourbon Heritage Month is an observance in the United States that calls for a celebration of bourbon as America’s “Native Spirit” during the month of September.
Kentucky is reportedly the birthplace of bourbon, where upwards of 95 percent of the spirit is distilled. Elijah Craig, a Baptist minister, is credited by some as the first to make bourbon, in 1789.
The first “bottled” bourbon might have been in 1870 ... George Garvin Brown’s Old Forester. Before then, bourbon was always sold in barrels.
Bourbon is a multi-billion-dollar industry in Kentucky alone. By the way, if you ever get a chance, take a trip to the Louisville area and follow the bourbon trail. If you don’t have an appreciation of America’s spirit before, you will once you make the trip. Fair warning ... you will then want to stock different bourbons to sip depending upon your mood on the day.
Now to the drink. The first time I had a bacon-bourbon old fashioned I wasn’t an immediate fan, but a couple of sips later ... not bad. Note: That is “New York” for “That’s pretty good.” Bacon-infused bourbon is kind of a thing so we have to try it on Mixology at Home. Note - Our on-air drink did not taste good. I don’t usually infuse spirits and while I did follow the below directions, the bacon flavor did not marry the bourbon. It was more of a back alley brawl. Still, if you love bacon and bourbon, do at least try this drink.
There are several easy recipes that use already-cooked bacon. For today, I infused some bourbon with bacon fat, called “fat washing.” Essentially, you cook some bacon and combine the fat and bourbon in a container with a wide opening. Directions are below.
I wouldn’t do an entire bottle of bourbon on your first try unless you already know you like this drink.
The drink Ingredients
- 2 oz bacon-infused bourbon (directions below)
- ½ oz maple syrup (could substitute brown sugar syrup)
- 3 dashes of aromatic bitters (could use orange bitters)
- Ice (for shaker and a large cube for drink)
- Smoke (optional)
- A strip of cooked bacon and orange peel for garnish
Directions: Add bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters. Shake to mix and chill and strain into an old fashioned glass with a large ice cube. Using a smoke gun, add smoke (your flavor choice but maple works well), put a lid over the drink, and swirl the drink lightly to help add the smoke (about 15 seconds). Garnish with a strip of cooked bacon and an orange peel.
Infusing bacon into bourbon
Use 1 1/2 oz of bacon fat and a bottle (750 ml) of bourbon. About four to five strips of cooked bacon should give you the fat you need. Combine the bourbon and bacon fat and let sit for at least 12 hours. After you initially shake the mixture, do not shake it again; let the fat gravitate to the top of the bourbon. Then put in the freezer for another 12 hours to solidify the fat. This makes it easier to separate the fat from the bourbon, leaving just the flavor. Strain and Filter the bourbon back into its bottle.
Here is another bacon-bourbon drink (doesn’t need infused bourbon)
- 1 strip of cooked bacon (candied?)
- 1 1/2 oz bourbon
- 1 TBS brown sugar syrup
- 3 dashes of orange bitters
- Orange peel
- Smoke gun with maple wood chips
Directions: Cut the bacon strip in half. Chop one half into small pieces. In a cocktail shaker, add the small bacon pieces, brown sugar simple syrup, and bitters. Add ice to the cocktail shaker and proceed to shake until well-mixed. About a dozen times. Double strain the mixture into a lowball glass with fresh ice, removing the bacon pieces. Add bourbon and stir. Then add the smoke and cover the drink for 15 to 30 seconds to get that extra smoked maple flavor. Garnish with the remaining 1/2 bacon strip and a sliver of orange peel.
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