For the love of Bacon & Bourbon

Here is a solution to mix your love for food and drink. I love Bacon and I love Bourbon.I present to you here a well known practice of infusing flavours of smoked bacon into bourbon. The pictures shown here are straight from work outs at my home. "Statutory statement: Do try this at home." If you tried this , you will surly realise how well the smoky flavours of bacon complements the charcoal filtered flavours of bourbon.

Like most techniques of infusing spirits this one is quite simple too. The technical term for this methodology is "Fat Washing".

Step1, Pan fry some smoked bacon. I fried about 15 strips.

Step 2 Collect all the fat in the pan from frying bacon into a small container. I got about 100 ml of fat

Step 3 Pour the fat into bourbon. I mixed 100 ml fat with 350 ml of Bourbon. I used a relatively inexpensive bourbon called "Benchmark" easily available in wine stores in Bangalore. Rs.1500 a bottle of 750ml. Make sure to use a wide mouth bottle or jar when you mix the fat and the bourbon. You will now why - soon.

Step 4, Chuck the concoction into deep freezer for a while. A while can be 2 hours to 2 weeks depending on your patients. I left it for 2 days and then took it out.

Step 5. The fat would have frozen in the jar, but the spirit would not as its free
zing point is much below your freezer`s best. Now use a spoon and pull out the frozen fat and the remaining spirit in the jar is now infused with the bacon flavours. A wide moth jar is helpful to scrape out the fat easily

Step 6. Filter the spirit using a muslin cloth several times to make sure you have removed fine fat particles as much as possible. And tadaaaaaaaaaaa....your bacon infused bourbon is ready.You may drink it the way you prefer your bourbon but in a post soon I will show how to use this with the ginger adn honey syrup to make a delicious cocktail. Till then, have fun...

Of Ginger and Honey

Last weekend I experimented with the thought of making my own Gingerale. I think it a noble thought to replace the supermarket stuff with freshly home made gingerale to give company for whiskey or vodka or gin. What started as an effort to make Gingerale lead me to discover the age old simple way of making a ginger syrup that grannies have always made as home cure for your throat infection or common cold and how well we can adopt it into the cocktail world.

This is the most easiest of things to make. Aim to start with a batch of 500 ml of ginger syrup. Throughly clean about 400 gms of ginger roots,cut them into small chunks. Peel them if you are not through with your cleaning. Put them in a open bowl with 2 liters of water and put the bowl on high flame. In about 45 min, the water would soak up the flavour of the ginger roots and would have reduced to almost 500 to 600 ml. It would be gain slightly thicker consistency too. Remove the bowl from the heat and let it cool down for a bit. You can empty the bowl into a glass jar and then top it up with equal amount of honey. Close the lid, give it a shake and refrigerate the syrup. Your ginger syrup is ready.

If kept refrigerated the shelf life of this syrup can be upto 6 months. I took a sample from my batch to Take 5 on Sunday evening and made everyone I know around taste it. Most liked it. You can use this syrup as a cocktail additive into a whiskey sour replacing the sugar syrup. This pic below is what I concocted at Take 5 with this syrup.

To continue to make your own gingerale, all you need to do is take about 60 ml of this syrup in a tall glass and top it with soda. One of my early memories of a cocktail was drink called "Ginger Banger" in a night club called Bottles & Chimneys in Hyd a good 8 -9 years ago. I vaguely remember it to be a vodka cocktail with lot of ice,dash of lime juice, mint leaves (not muddled) topped with gingerale. Super refreshing for summer noons.

To improvise the syrup, while boiling the ginger originally you could add cinnamon or cloves or any other spices that you like. One common drink I can think of using this ginger syrup is with brandy and hot water into a cocktail that is famously known as "Doctor`s prescription". Works quite well for your bad nose or throat days :).

About Shank

Shank is a cocktail enthusiast & a self-proclaimed mixologist. He likes to experiment with spirits. He has traveled around a bit visiting hundreds of bars and tasting the buzziest of alcohols, cocktails and shooters.

Shank spent early years of his dizziness in Mumbai. He has lived in Hyderabad for long and for the past few years is chilling his glass in Bangalore.

He is currently busy spreading his love for spirits through this blog - Cocktail Nirvana.

This blog is part of his ongoing quest for fine spirits, creative cocktails and classic mixology. These online journals will capture his cocktail inventions, adventures with alcohol, trips to bars, meeting with ace mixologists, lessons in the art of drinking and much more.

This apart, ignoring good judgment, the fine folks at also allow him to take up valuable space on their portal with his words & pictures.

Away from Nirvana