“It’s tastes like breakfast in your mouth.” That’s what my husband said, eyes alight, after his first sip of a Bacon Old Fashioned. We were in Nashville at The Patterson House; a high styled speakeasy evoking a blend of tones from Gatsby to Capone. The experience and the drinks were delicious.
The Bacon Old Fashioned had us hooked, but it was hard to find. We encountered it again at PDT in Manhattan’s East Village, another version of the popular speakeasy. Instead of passing through heavy curtains to get to the bar like we did Nashville, to access PDT you have to visit a hot dog stand, enter a phone booth, and wait for the hostess to “open the door” which is actually the side wall of the phone booth! PDT’s version of the Bacon Old Fashioned is a little less “smokey” than the first we had, which I ended up preferring. The latest place we ordered the decadent cocktail was at The Ravenous Pig in Winter Park, FL.
In talking to the bartenders and mixologists at all three establishments, I decided I could make Matt his very own version of this new, favorite cocktail. After burning two pans of bacon, I finally got it right. Here is my version of the Bacon Old Fashioned. It’s a combination of Patterson’s, PDT’s, and the Ravenous Pig’s.
You will need to infuse the bourbon with bacon at least 12 hours prior to when you plan on making and serving the drink.
3 or 4 slices of smoky bacon, you will need 1 oz. of bacon fat
1 750-ml. bottle of bourbon; I used Bulleit Rye Bourbon
Maple Syrup (Grade B if possible)
DIRECTIONS FOR INFUSING THE BOURBON WITH BACON
1. Cook the bacon in a pan, let it cool, and drain off ONE OUNCE OF FAT into a glass bowl or tupperware. (Eat the bacon. 🙂 )
2. Pour the bourbon into another non-porous container with a cap/lid, but KEEP THE BOURBON BOTTLE. I recycled a cleaned , plastic OJ bottle as an “infusing container.”
3. Strain ONE OUNCE of bacon fat into the container with the bourbon, put the cap on, and let it sit (room temp) for AT LEAST 6 hours to infuse the bourbon with the bacon taste.
4. Put the container of infused bourbon in the freezer until the fat solidifies (gross; cue semi-regret for eating the leftover bacon).
5. There are a few ways to remove the solidified fat. I put a cheesecloth covered funnel into the top of the bourbon bottle and slowly poured the infused bourbon back into its original bottle. Others have used metal strainers and/or slotted spoons to remove the fat chunks.
6. (optional) I didn’t feel like I got all the fat out, so I did steps 4 & 5 again.
Now, you’ve got fabulously infused bacon bourbon.
DIRECTIONS FOR THE “BREAKFAST IN YOUR MOUTH” BACON OLD FASHIONED:
1. Quarter a small orange
2. Then, in a mixing glass, stir…2 ounces of bacon infused bourbon, 1/4 ounce of Maple Syrup, 2 dashes of bitters, the juice from a squeezed orange quarter, and 1-2 cubes of ice
3. Strain into a chilled “old fashioned” glass (sometimes these glasses are called “rocks glasses”; 6-8 oz and non-stemmed)
4. Rim the glass with an orange quarter and serve with an orange twist.
(The Ravenous Pig adds a splash of water, which I prefer but Matt does not.)
Serve a specialty cocktail to your guests. It’s an easy way to make them feel special. A great party is not made by how many people come, but how the people that come… feel. When you host, serve something special. <3