Bourbon and bacon are my two favorite food groups on Earth. If I’m ever stranded on a desert island, B&B are hands down what I’m bringing with me—scurvy be damned! Bourbon pairs best with foods that are sweet, smoky or rich in luscious fats, and bacon just so happens to be all three, so I say, marry them! The result? A sweet-salty-smoky flavor meld that is so much more than its individual parts.
When bacon and bourbon are combined, each ingredient balances the other, teasing out complex caramel and spice tones with a smoky soul-satisfying finish. We’ve been wanting to try this for years, and never quite got to it because we assumed it would be a complicated process better left to denim-clad mixologists with fancy mustaches, but were surprised and delighted to find how incredibly simple it is to make your own bacon infused bourbon at home. Just gather up some cheese cloth or a coffee filter, a funnel, a package of Small Batch Bacon Strips and your favorite bourbon!
Side Note: with the infusion, you are adding a new flavor element that wasn’t part of the maker’s original intent, so we don’t suggest using that bottle of Pappy Van Winkle or other top shelf bourbon you’ve been saving for a special occasion. Use a solid mid-range bourbon with a well balanced flavor profile that’ll make room for the bacon without being thrown off balance by it. Bulleit works especially well.
Make this recipe with Small Batch Bacon Strips (Maple Sugar or Smoky Paprika)
- 750 ml bottle of bourbon
- 1 package of 12-oz Small Batch Bacon Strips
- Cook the Small Batch Bacon Strips to your desired liking and until a fair amount of bacon fat has rendered in the pan—approx. seven to ten minutes.
- Remove the strips and use for another dish...or y’know...just devour them on the spot (For recipes using the Small Batch Bacon Strips, click here)
- Let bacon fat cool slightly, then pour through cheesecloth or fine strainer into a small bowl.
- Pour bourbon into a wide-mouth container (Tupperware containers work well), then add bacon fat and stir to combine.
- Let the bourbon mixture rest at room temperature for 30 minutes; cover and freeze overnight.
- The next day, remove the container from the freezer. You should now have a frozen layer of fat across the surface with liquid infused bourbon underneath. Crack through the fat layer, strain to remove the large pieces and pour the liquid once more through cheesecloth or a coffee filter to remove any last impurities.
- Using a funnel, put back in the bottle and cap. The bourbon is now perishable and can go rancid if left out, so store in the fridge
Note: You can use it immediately: sip it neat, on the rocks, or as part of a cocktail. Your bacon-infused bourbon is now perishable and can be stored in the fridge for several weeks—not that we think you’ll be able to resist using it all up before then! Cheers!
BONUS! Bacon-Infused Manhattan
- 2oz Bacon-Infused Bourbon
- 2oz Carpano Antica
- 1 Luxardo cherry
- 1 dash Angostura Bitters
- 1 Meyer Lemon peel
- Add 1 Luxardo cherry to a glass of your choice.
- Pour in bourbon, Caprano Antica, bitters.
- Stir and garnish with Meyer Lemon peel