I'm new to the community, so I thought I'd offer something useful to start. I'm getting married in two weeks and this is the featured "Groom's Cocktail" at our reception. Guys should love bacon almost as much as they love bourbon, so I like to combine the two.
Bacon Bourbon Old Fashioned
- 1 lbs of standard bacon (not peppered or maple flavored or pre-cooked or turkey crap)
- 1 bottle of bourbon. I prefer a more flavorful bourbon like Makers 46 or Knob Creek, but I've made it with standard Makers before and it turned out fine. Elijah Craig 12 is what we are using for my wedding. It's excellent for this.
- 1 bottle of organic maple syrup. Aunt Jemima won't cut it for this cocktail.
- 1 bottle of bitters. Angostura works fine.
- An orange.
Bacon Infusion Process:
Step 1: Cook the bacon in a frying pan and save the grease.
Step 2: Once the grease cools down a bit, pour it into a tupperware like container that will fit in your freezer, then add the bourbon to it. Stir well for 30 seconds or so to get a good mix. Note that the bacon never goes into the bourbon, the grease adds the flavor.
Step 3: Eat a lot of bacon.
Step 4: Leave the container out overnight.
Step 5: The next morning, put the container in the freezer and leave it there all day.
Step 6: That evening (24 hours after you started), separate the fat from the bourbon. The grease will have solidified at the top of the container. My trick is to use a sharp knife and cut a hole in the fat layer at opposing corners of the container. I then pour the bourbon out from under it into another container through a mesh strainer. The large piece of hardened grease will stay in the container and the strainer will have captured any large rogue pieces. I then go back through the strainer a couple more times and then use a funnel to pour the bourbon back into its bottle. You'll end up with a little less bourbon than you started with.
- 2 oz. bacon flavored bourbon
- 1/4 oz maple syrup
- 2 dashes of bitters
- "Expressed" orange peel
Stir with ice cubes, or shake if desired. Separate from that ice and pour in a rocks glass with fresh ice (ideally a big ice chunk instead of cubes.) The final step may be a new one for you, so I'll add an explanation below. "Express" some orange peel into the finished cocktail. This adds some citrus aroma and really balances the drink nicely. I learned about this technique on Gizmodo.
"When you get your drink with a twist, your bartender will generally squeeze the peel over the drink in order to express (read: spray) the oils over your drink and onto the glass. Because 90 percent of flavor is aroma, this gives your drink that crisp, citrusy flavor, without adding to the volume. These oils, however, are flammable. Stick a lighter or a match in between the orange and your glass, and when you squeeze you'll spray a little burst of fire. You still get the citrus flavor, but it's a little sweeter. It's almost like caramelized orange. It's a bit more dynamic and it's a very nice finishing touch on something like an Old Fashioned."
I hope you enjoy this cocktail as much as I do. It is certainly a favorite among my friends.