I love a good cocktail. You probably already know that if you’ve ever read this blog before.
I also like pop culture references… same as above…
So when I bought a bottle of Rittenhouse Bottled In Bond as a treat for my birthday week, I felt it was imperative that I combine those two loves in a delicious way.
After considering about 2 options. I settled on making a drink which would make Ron Swanson proud. Which meant I needed to make bacon whiskey.
Rittenhouse Rye Whiskey
The reason I chose Rittenhouse is because a) It’s a damn fine whiskey and clear alcohols are for rich women on diets b) I haven’t had much interaction with rye whiskeys, so I thought… what the hell?
The Bottled-In-Bond variety is 100 proof, which means that it’s actually 50% in British terms. Obviously, this makes it a little bit stronger than most other whiskeys I’ve tried but, like most good quality spirits, stronger often means smoother. I don’t yet know why this is, I think it’s because there is more of the pure ingredients left inside the bottle ready for you to enjoy. Do not quote me on that. I am probably wrong and it’s probably all psychosomatic.
Anyway, as it was stronger, I didn’t need to use as much in the cocktail as I probably would have had I used a lighter Bourbon. And, as a stronger spirit, Ron would be proud.
Which Cocktail Should I Make?
I can’t make the drink unless I know what the drink is going to be. That much should really be obvious. So I went through my cocktail books, made myself a drink (wouldn’t you?) and settled on a Whiskey Sour. OK, since you probably read the title of this, you’ll realise that isn’t what I ended up making… yet…
There is a little bar, not too far from me called Bryant & Mack. It is not only one of my favourite bars, but is also one of my favourite places to be. I’m not going to say much more because I really need to write a blog about them soon but, suffice it to say, they’re amazing. Anyway, I was discussing this future cocktail with them, including the reference when they suggested making a flip instead. I’ve not had many a flip, but I know that they’re filling, sweet and use a whole egg… You know where this is going.
With the conception of the cocktail in place, I just needed the key ingredients.
While the overall theme was to be Ron Swanson. I also wanted it to be breakfasty. So, without further ado, here is the cocktail in all it’s finery.
35ml Bacon Washed Rittenhouse Bottled-In-Bond Rye Whiskey
10ml Maple Cinnamon Syrup
3 Dashes Grapefruit Bitters, I used Fee Brothers (for the breakfast effect)
1 Dash Angostura Bitters
15ml Half and Half
1 Whole Egg
Candied Bacon Pieces
Bacon washed whiskey
For the bacon washed whiskey, grill up some bacon. What? I didn’t say this was going to be hard work.
The amount of bacon you want to grill will depend on how hungry you are but, more importantly, how much bacon washed whiskey you want to make. I only made about 100ml, as a test so I grilled up about 8 rashers of streaky, smoked bacon.
Put your whiskey in a sealable container (e.g. a jar), when the bacon is cooked and there’s loads of grease, pour that grease into your container and seal it up. Agitate it (shake it lightly) and leave it to sit for about 4 hours. Then, put it in the freezer for about 2 hours.
After you’ve done this, there should be a layer of fat on top of the whiskey. And the whiskey should look a little bit oily. This is a good thing. Now, scoop the fat off and strain the whiskey through a fine strainer/coffee strainer to get rid of any bits.
Wash out and dry your container thoroughly and then put the bacon washed whiskey back in.
Job’s a good ‘un.
Maple Cinnamon Syrup
This is just a simple syrup made with half water, quarter brown sugar, quarter maple syrup (because maple syrup is expensive) and ground cinnamon.
Boil and stir until it reduces but before it burns. That’s it.
But, just before you pour it into another container, finely chop one of the rashers of bacon and stir it in to the syrup. Let it cook for a couple of minutes before you strain it out, keeping the syrup… obviously.
The Actual Cocktail
- Add all of your ingredients in to a cocktail shaker, except for the bitters
- Fill with ice
- Close it up and give it a really good shake
- Double strain out the cocktail into a glass, throw away the ice and put the cocktail pack into the shaker
- Dash in the bitters
- If you have a Hawthorne strainer (if not, why? They basically come with every shaker) take the spring off and put it inside the shaker
- Close it up and shake again. Not too much this time
- Pour it into a chilled Martini glass
- Sprinkle your candied bacon on top and a little bit of cinnamon
- Sip slowly and keep your tears in your eyes, where they belong