We have been thinking about uses for our bacon-infused bourbon since we made it. The first thing that came to mind was, of course, the old fashioned cocktail, but we wanted to make it a little more interesting. Chocolate bitters to the rescue!
Bacon Bourbon Old Fashioned
1 Sugar cube
3 dashes Chocolate bitters
2 oz. Bacon-infused bourbon
Place sugar cube in the bottom of a lowball glass. Douse with bitters, add a little water if desired, and muddle the bitters into the sugar until the sugar has dissolved. Add bourbon and orange twist.
If you love bacon, this is the old fashioned for you. The first flavor to hit your palate is the smooth chocolate while with the orange scent reaches your nose. The bacon flavor comes on strong after that. It is honestly too much bacon flavor for us, but we know there are bacon fans out there who will love this cocktail.
Simple cocktails are the best cocktails. This drink from 500 Tasty Sandwiches combines just three ingredients but is full of flavor.
Le Macaron Pompette
1 oz. Elderflower liqueur
2 oz. Bourbon
3 oz. Cream soda
Pour all ingredients into a mixing glass and stir gently. Strain slowly into a highball glass with ice and garnish with an orange twist.
This drink is a little sweet for our tastes, but is nevertheless delicious and aptly named for French macarons. For those of you non-French speakers, pompette means “tipsy.” We recommend using a cream soda that is only lightly carbonated, such as Dr. Brown’s, but if you use a more bubbly one, it would be best to add the cream soda directly to the glass instead of mixing and pouring from the mixing glass.
If you’ve been anywhere near the cocktail industry in the last two years, you’ve noticed that aged cocktails are having a moment. Jeffrey Morgenthaler of Clyde Common in Portland is widely credited with bringing this technique to the United States, and he certainly popularized it. We have aged whiskey at home before with pretty good results, and so we thought we would apply the same method to see if we could approximate the result one would get by barrel-aging a cocktail.
The first thing to do is make your cocktail, so we took the recipe we like for a perfect bourbon manhattan, multiplied it by four, and poured it into a bottle with some pieces of charred American oak that we got from the homebrew store in our neighborhood.
2 oz. bourbon
½ oz. sweet vermouth
½ oz. dry vermouth
2 dashes Angostura bitters
We let this age for ten days, then strained it twice through cheesecloth to remove any debris from the oak cubes.
Chill a martini glass and stir 3-4 ounces of the aged cocktail with ice for about 30 seconds to chill it. Strain into a martini glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
We cannot recommend this process highly enough. The charred oak aging smooths out the flavors of the cocktail in a really rich way. We love how we can now just pour a beautifully made manhattan at any time with no hassle. This would be great to pour for friends if you’re hosting a dinner party and don’t want the added mess of cocktail-mixing.
Bacon-infused bourbon has been gaining in popularity, probably because bourbon and bacon are both delicious. It’s a simple equation, really: bacon + bourbon = happiness. MATH NEVER LIES! Anyway, we’ve had some bacon-bourbon cocktails at numerous bars, each with varying degrees of deliciousness. We’ve been hesitant to try making it ourselves because when it’s not done right, bacon-infused bourbon can be fairly disastrous. Luckily for us, the internet exists. This video of Jamie Boudreau showing how to fat wash bourbon was exactly what we were looking for. (The video also includes a cocktail to make after the infusion.)
5-6 strips of bacon
1 cup bourbon
Make bacon. Eat bacon. LOVE BACON. Pour the fat into a heat-proof jar. We let the fat cool a little so it wasn’t at full heat when we poured it. Add bourbon. Shake once, then let the mixture cool in the freezer until the fat solidifies at the top. Use a spoon to get the solid fat out, and strain the liquid mixture through cheesecloth to remove any remaining solid pieces.
The end result is bourbon that also tastes like bacon. That’s really all you need to know about it, right? As you can see from the picture, the bacon-infused bourbon is clear of any floating debris. Even though our bacon fat was pretty dark (we think from using a cast-iron skillet, the best way to cook pretty much anything), the bourbon still turned out pretty light. We recommend using the highest quality bacon you find, since you are going to be putting that flavor directly into your whiskey.
We’ve featured the history of the Ward 8 cocktail before, shared from the wonderful blog 500 Tasty Sandwiches. With renewed interest in the Ward 8 popping up here and there, we decided it was high time to try making it for ourselves.
1½ oz. bourbon
½ oz. orange juice
½ oz. lemon juice
½ oz. grenadine
Combine all ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice and shake to mix well. Strain into a lowball glass and garnish with a maraschino cherry.
This is a whiskey sour sweetened by grenadine (which is made from pomegranates). We used Wathen’s because its well-balanced nature would match well with the fruit juices and its spice would stand up to the sourness. This is a very refreshing cocktail, but it is essential that you use fresh juices and a quality grenadine.
We tried Wathen’s Bourbon a few months ago at a bourbon tasting and were very pleased with our small sample. The only reason we hadn’t picked up a full bottle before now was because the holidays distracted us. We’re very happy we finally added it to our bar.
There’s not a lot of background regarding Wathen’s bourbon, especially because their official website is kind of an information desert. What we do know is that Wathen’s is distilled in Owensboro, KY, and is 94 proof.
Wathen’s Bourbon is a golden amber color and smells of both sweetness and woodiness. Rachel noted some fruitiness in the scent also, reminding her of red delicious apples. The scent of this bourbon promised a balance of flavors that it delivers on. Its slight apple, citrus, and pear flavors are balanced very well with cinnamon and oak. Wathen’s finish is of long, lingering spice. We were very pleased with Wathen’s, and for less than $35 (in our area), it’s one of the better values in its price range.