The dram always comes first. And, what better way to start an ongoing discussion about booze and books than with bourbon and bacon. Bacon can only add to the delicious nature of the dram.
So, we start with bourbon and bacon. How so? Well, good question. While we could just sip our bourbon with a side of smokey applewood, this isn’t quite my aim. Delicious? Yes. Perfection? Not quite.
No, the type of bourbon and bacon marriage I am talking about is fusion. Bacon Bourbon. And, no, this is not another failure like Knob Creek’s Smoked Maple Bourbon. I like to be kind and patient, but its intolerable outside of a mixed drink. This is a homemade marriage and I have to give credit where credit is due.
All the credit in this case goes to Tim Ferriss, the man behind the 4-Hour Body, 4-Hour Workweek, and the 4-Hour Chef (as an aside, he started me on a revolution when it came to my eating habits. I may be the only whisk(e)y drinker who eats Paleo. Check out my other blog on Paleo here). In his book, the 4-Hour Chef, he has a recipe for homemade bacon bourbon. When I read it, I said “why not?” Well, actually I said “hell yes!” The only question was what bourbon to use?
I didn’t want to use a premium bourbon. While it might work, if it failed it would be a horrible waste of the likes of Blanton’s or Booker’s. So, I took my time and looked through my self. As I looked, the right decision became clear. Journeyman Distillery’s Featherbone Bourbon. It is an interesting tipple with a hilarios, historical name. While very young (under 2 years and therefore not a straight bourbon) it is also quite complex and rich (a review will likely be coming in the future and probably alongside a review with this concoction). However, for me the overwhelming taste of granny smith apples kind of ruins it. And, it only gets more and more tart as it oxidizes. So, this was the one. I thought bacon could only help the flavors.
I was right. It mellowed the fruit notes and balanced them with some smokey, meat-like flavors. It is now a drink I like to tipple on a regular basis.
So, how did I do it. Here are the ingredients and the recipe:
– 1/4 cup liquified bacon fat
– 1 cup bourbon
– 2 mason jars
– 12-24 hours
1. Sterilize the mason jar in a pot of boiling water
2. Cook 1lb bacon, saving 1/4 cup liquified bacon fat
3. Fill mason jar with 1 cup bourbon
4. Add 1/4 cup liquified bacon fat to mason jar
5. Seal mason jar tight and shake to combine ingredients
6. Allow bourbon and bacon fat to fuse over at least 12 hours (I allowed 24 hours). Placing in a warm spot (i.e. sun or heat vent) will allow for greater fusion.
7. Place mason jar in freezer for at least 1 hour to allow bacon fat to separate from bourbon.
8. Skim bacon fat off the top of the bourbon. Some fat will remain.
9. Sterilize second mason jar in a pot of boiling water
10. Filter bourbon through a coffee filter, cheese cloth, or paper towel into second mason jar (I recommend a double filtration, i.e. do this step twice)
11. Sip and enjoy. Preferably with a slice of bacon.
There you have it: Bacon Bourbon. You can’t go wrong. I hope you enjoy testing this experiment as well. Look for more experiments in the future. I plan to create a bacon infused peaty scotch in the future. Yum!