Cocktails for carnivores


"I expected it to taste greasy and salty;" writes Clay Risen, "instead it was dry and smoky, with a hint of meat."

Across America cocktail bars are serving up bourbon cocktails flavoured with bacon. In the Atlantic Risen explains the process:

First, you fry up several thick slabs of bacon. Keeping the pan on the fire, you remove the meat and pour in a few cups of bourbon–Patterson House uses Four Roses–and stir. Then you set the mix aside to cool. As the temperature drops, the fat congeals, creating a thick film on top of the liquor. Once it’s done, you cut a hole in the grease, pour out the liquid, et voila!

This is just one example of a technique known as ‘fat washing‘. Developed by cocktail maker Eben Freeman, it can be used with flavourful fats like browned butter or bacon grease. New York cocktail bar PDT is famous for its bacon-infused old fashioned.

Elsewhere: cocktail geeks wonder about the best way to use fish sauce in a drink.

Image credit: bhamsandwich on flickr

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2 Responses to Cocktails for carnivores

  1. Yum (not!), bacon smokey cocktails. Still pouring off the grease does make it sound quite interesting.

    Bacon is IMO one of the most abused substances. Nice with eggs and no doubt other things, it’s a very dominant flavour – OK with beef, ghastly with seafood. And yet bacon turns up in seafood in restaurant menus across the country. Oh well that’s just my taste – I guess someone likes it.

  2. Don Arthur says:

    So you’re not a fan of Heston Blumenthal’s bacon and egg ice cream?

    Or how about combining bacon with that other contender for most abused substance — chocolate?

    As for bacon flavoured cocktails — I think the preferred technique is to let the fat and alcohol sit while the alcohol absorbs the flavour. The fat rises to the top. Then, after you’ve let it sit long enough to extract the flavour, you pop the concoction in the freezer to make it easier to separate the fat. You pour the alcohol through a coffee filter to extract any solids.

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