Cook 3 to 4 strips of thick, smoky bacon--enough to yield 1 ounce of fat. Afterward, eat the bacon.
Pour a 750ml of bourbon into a large bowl. I used Wild Turkey 101 for my batch.
Add to the bourbon 1 ounce of bacon fat that’s cooled to room temperature.
The bourbon-fat cocktail will resemble an oil slick at first. Let the bourbon infuse, at room temperature, for about 4 hours. Then stick the bowl in the freezer for about an hour.
Sticking the bowl in the freezer isn’t crucial to the infusion process. Instead, what this step does is freeze the fat into solid clumps, making them much easier to remove…
…with a slotted spoon. We’re almost ready for a cocktail.
But first we have to strain the infused bourbon back into bottle. I don’t have a fine strainer, so I simply poured the bourbon through a doubled sheet of cheesecloth. Now, we have our bacon-infused bourbon and are ready for a drink.
To make the Benton’s Old Fashioned you’ll need: Angostura bitters, Grade B maple syrup, bacon-infused bourbon, and a sliver of orange peel.
Fill a cocktail mixer or tall glass with ice. Add 2 ounces bourbon, two dashes bitters, and 1/4 ounce maple syrup.
Stir the mixture a good 20 to 30 times to incorporate the ingredients. Then, let it sit for a moment.
Meanwhile, fill a chilled rocks glass with ice. Okay, so here’s the one and only instance when I’m admittedly a cocktail snob: I like an Old Fashioned with just one large ice cube because it melts slower and prevents the drink from becoming watered-down. And it just looks great. You can purchase large-cube trays here. I also like to drink bourbon from a jar because, well, it’s bourbon.
Slice a sliver of orange peel for a garnish. We’re almost there.
Give the ingredients one more stir, then strain into the glass.
Twist the orange peel over the cocktail to release the oils into the drink. Brush the rim of the glass with the peel, then drop it in.