We here at Casa del Hokeyhausen began our passionate love affair with bacon-infused bourbon earlier this year, and it’s become something of a seasonal favorite. It’s a most delicious concoction that takes the best of so many possible worlds and combines them into a wholly singular experience that can be best described as couch-destroyingly-awesome. [And if that sounds incredibly insular and in-jokified, I assure you, it quite is. Those who know, know…] We’re talking equal parts sweet, salty, punchy and, of course, bacon-y. The result is greater than the sum of its parts, tastes deceptively like it has much less alcoholic content than it does, and makes for a fine aperitif, nightcap, night out, day in, hangin’ with good friends, sulkin’ ’cause you have no friends, saying ‘fuck all’ to friends in the first place, rejoicing, lamenting, or if you’re in absolutely NO mood whatsoever and are looking to find one… this is your drink.
It’s also ridiculously simple to make. 90% of your time will be spent sitting around while you’re infusing the bourbon with that lovely, lovely bacon grease. So you can do a bunch of other things while you’re waiting. Why not finish reading that Bobby Blotzer biography? I mean, can you BELIEVE he self published that thing?
OK so enough of my yammering. I did not originate this recipe; it’s sort of an amalgamation of several different ones out there, tweaked a bit because I like my cocktail to have more bacon flavor than some of the ‘milder’ (read: ‘wussier’) ones out there. It’s not overloaded with bacon flavor; that would be gauche. But it’s definitely more than just a whisper of a hint of what might be bacon flavor that I found in most other recipes.
Casa del Hokeyhausen Bacon Bourbon Apple Cream Cocktail
Makes about 8 servings, or 4 if you and your burrito-swingin’ buddies are a bunch of unrepentant drunkards
Bourbon (750 ml bottle)
– I’m a Maker’s Mark devotee, so I go with what I like. Keep your top-shelf bottles for when fine company comes over, such as the Thai Prime Minister. Man is she a piece or what?
Bacon (@15 strips, thick-cut, smoked)
– Again, go with whatever brand you enjoy. The thicker the cut, the more flavor you’re going to get. If you’re thinking of using turkey bacon or other such communist subversion, you’re reading the wrong blog. >:(
Cream soda (Canned 6-pack or a 1L bottle)
Apple Cider (1L)
– I am definitely not a cream soda aficionado, so whether you want to go with Dr. Brown, A&W, or your generic supermarket brand is your choice. The Publix brand cream soda does just fine. You’re not going to use THAT much of it; I prefer to get a 2L bottle to use over multiple batches. The same goes with the apple cider.
– For garnish. Some argue that you should use an apple slice *and* a slice of bacon as garnish, but to me that’s a Men At Work song just waiting to happen.
1. Fry up the bacon as you are usually wont to do. This is often referred to as “the fun part” because your house ends up smelling like bacon, which makes people instantly happy when they walk in, and you’re less likely to bop them over the head with a sock full of pennies.
2. Strain the voluminous amount of resulting bacon grease into a bowl. Try to keep it as clean as possible; if you don’t have a strainer, use a cheesecloth or the like. Your bacon grease is crucial to the process. This is the keynote element of the cocktail. Resist the temptation to start engulfing it immediately. First of all the grease is really, REALLY hot, and second, that’s really, REALLY gross.
3. Eat the bacon. If I had to remind you to do this, you’re reading the wrong blog. >:(
4. In a large bowl, combine the full bottle of bourbon with the bacon grease, and mix thoroughly with a beater for about a minute or so. The grease is going eventually to diffuse its way to the top of the mixture. This is what’s commonly known as ‘density’ among fine puppetry professionals everywhere. What we want to happen is have the grease congeal and harden atop the mixture while leaving the delicious bacon flavor behind. So mix well and thoroughly, but not too hard. You don’t want to bruise the alcohol. It’s very sensitive. (Not Kenny G sensitive; more like pouty Ethan Hawke sensitive. Thanks for trying to make Gen-X guys look like a bunch of sissies, Ethan. ‘Reality Bites’… don’t get me started on that hideous monstrosity…)
5. Cover/wrap bowl and set aside to infuse for at LEAST four hours. I prefer 6-8, but four will do. After four hours, place in refrigerator or (preferably) freezer for another hour or so, until the fat at the top of the bowl has hardened.
6. Poke a small opening in the top of the mixture and strain bacon-bourbon back into the original bottle. Try to keep the hardened grease out as much as possible, but if a little bit slips through, it ain’t the end of the world. I mean, unless the Earth suddenly shifts off axis and plummets helplessly into the ginormously terrifying thermonuclear fusion reactor we call a sun.
7. In a shaker, mix equal parts bacon-bourbon, cream soda, and apple cider. I generally choose about 3 ounces of each for a good-sized glass. Shake lovingly and sing ‘Feed The Birds’ from Mary Poppins while you do so. For no other reason that it will bring a delicate crystalline tear to your eye. Then never do that again, you Ethan Hawke wannabe sissypants.
8. Pour over ice, garnish with an apple slice or two, and serve to your rag-tag collection of ravenously… ravenous guests.
And there you have it! Simple, easy, all you need is some time to dedicate and you’ll be the belle of the ball, the toast of the town, the Shields to everyone else’s Yarnell. Does ANYONE under the age of 35 even know what that means without Googling it? À la recherche du temps perdu, specifically network variety shows of the 1970s. So much cheese in 44 minutes, plus the inevitable cameo appearance by Tim Conway. I’m derailing the train so close to the station right now, it’s not even funny.
The Bacon Bourbon Apple Cream Cocktail will gain you favor in the Imperial Court of Lunatics of your choice. I hope it brings you as much nakhes as it has brought to me & mine. Bear in mind I am not responsible for whatever calamities might befall your couch, or if you decide on a whim to read that Bobby Blotzer book. But if you do, drink any time you discover any and all blatant spelling/grammatical errors. You’ll be near comatose before sundown.