If bourbon is a man's drink, what better flavor to infuse it with than bacon? The combination tastes just as delicious as it sounds—a smokey, salty aftertaste lingering after each sip of deep, rich bourbon.
To infuse bourbon with bacon is simpler than it sounds. All you need is a bottle of bourbon, a few strips of bacon, and some mixers for your final cocktail. Below, a step-by-step guide on "baconifying your bourbon", adapted from mixologist Jacob Grier's guest post on the Agitator.
- (1) 750 ml bottle of Wild Turkey bourbon
- (3-4) strips of bacon
- A jar/container 750 ml or larger
For the cocktail:
- Maple syrup
- Angostura bitters
- Orange slices
Step 1 Gather Your Ingredients
For this recipe, we used Wild Turkey bourbon 101 proof, but you may want to try the newly released Wild Turkey 81. The new proof was developed predominantly for mixology, and delivers a slightly more mellow, oaky flavor.
You will need a jar that can hold 750 ml of bourbon (plus a slight excess of roughly 1 fluid oz of bacon fat), bacon, maple syrup, an orange, and Angostura bitters, which can be found in any decent liquor store.
Step 2 Fry 3-4 Strips of Bacon
You will only need 3-4 strips of bacon, but if you're looking for more of a bacon-infused kick, you may want to experiment by adding a couple more. But for your first time, we recommend following Grier's recipe for 3-4 strips, which should yield 1 oz of bacon fat. Bonus—all you need is the excess fat, which means you are free to eat the bacon. Yum.
Step 3 Extract the Fat & Add Your Bourbon
Once your bacon is cooked and the liquid fat is relatively cool, measure out roughly 1 oz and pour it into your container. Next, pour in 750 ml of bourbon.
Step 4 Store in the Freezer Overnight
Put the lid on your container, and store it in the freezer overnight to allow the flavor to infuse, and the liquid fat to solidify. The next day you will have some very gnarly chunks of solid fat floating in your bourbon.
Step 5 Strain the Fat
Now that your fat has solidified, it's time to strain. Use a fine mesh sieve to free your bourbon of all the large chunks.
- Once you've removed your large chunks of fat, you will more than likely have some smaller sediment remaining. For these tiny specks, you will need to use a coffee filter. Attach the coffee filter to the mouth of the container with tape, and slowly pour the bourbon through the fine mesh. You may need to replace the filter halfway through if it gets too clogged.
Step 6 Mix Your Cocktail
After fully straining, you should have beautiful, amber bourbon with a hint of bacon flavor. Now let's add a couple extra ingredients to enhance the flavor even more.
For a relatively full glass: Add several ice cubes, approximately 4 oz of your bacon bourbon, 1/2 oz maple syrup, and 4 dashes of Angostura bitters. Mix.
Step 7 Cheers!
Enjoy! P.S. Bacon-infused bourbon compliments bourbon-marinated steak quite well... Recipe coming soon.