Food Experiment: Baconated Bourbon

It was dumb luck that I saw this recipe for bacon-infused bourbon the same day I planned to cook up a batch of bacon for addition to a soup. Hey, it's not like I was going to use the fat for anything else.

So in the normal mad rush to get home on Monday night before Chuck comes on, I found a few minutes to swing by the liquor store for two bottles (gotta have a control group, doncha know) of this:

I chose Evan Williams because Esquire magazine recently rated it the nation's best deal in cheap liquor. (Mr. W scoffed at this, because clearly Esquire magazine has never heard of Luksosawa.) The recipe calls for "good" bourbon, but I'm not about to commit a bottle of Maker's Mark to a food experiment. That way lies madness.

So, the deal is that you pour rendered bacon fat into the bourbon and let it infuse for a while (I let it sit overnight), then chill the mixture until the fat hardens enough so you can strain it out.

(Is there anything one can do with bourbon-flavored bacon fat? The mother of all gravies, perhaps? Maybe that's the next food experiment.)

I sniffed the bottle of Bacon Williams before sealing it back up, but couldn't discern any particular bacony scent. Then I went back online and read about people letting their bacon liquors marinate "for a few days." Uh-oh.

Anyway, that Friday, Mr. W and I had dinner with our friends James and Katie, which seemed like the perfect opportunity for a taste test. So while the others made hamburgers and set out pickles, I poured the drinks.

The little square glass holds Evan Williams (there was a second glass that doesn't seem to have made its way into the picture); the larger round ones have Bacon Williams.

As I poured, I took the opportunity to sniff the two bottles. Compared to his brother, Bacon Williams smelled ... not like bacon. Kind of metallic, maybe?

I didn't tell the others which drink was in which glass; I didn't have to. Katie took one sip from the round glass, frowned, and said, "This one's the bacon, isn't it." It was clear from her tone that that was not a good thing.

There was a definite taste difference, and it was not pleasant. Everyone agreed that instead of bacon flavor, the bourbon seemed to have absorbed the flavor of fat. (To replicate this experience, try drinking a glass of bourbon on the rocks, except in the place of rocks, use lumps of Crisco.)

After those initial sips, everyone stuck to the plain Evan Williams for the rest of the evening. We tried to think of something to do with the Bacon Williams (play a practical joke on an unsuspecting friend, perhaps?), but in the end, Mr. W disposed of it privately. I can only hope he did so in a manner befitting an $11 bottle of bourbon cut down well before his time.

Rating: frowny tipsy face.


AE said...

I admire your enterprise! I actually think bourbon-infused bacon fat sounds delicious. Let me know what you decide to do with it... I imagine it would keep indefinitely in the frige.

Laphroaig scotch has been compared to bacon. It's a little more expensive but you might try it next time.

5chw4r7z said...

Kate_the_great and adorkandhispork are also planning this taste test. Disappointing, I would have thought it would be awesome. Maybe it takes the extra days for the bacon flavor to make it into the bourbon.

meso said...

"frowning tipsy face". now that made me laugh! m