Pig Grease and Corn Bread
- 1.5 oz. Maple bacon-infused Bourbon
- 1.0 oz. Dry Vermouth
- 0.5 oz. Flag Hill Sugar Maple Liqueur
- 0.5 oz. Amaro Montenegro
- 4 dashes Urban Moonshine maple bitters
Stir with ice and strain into old fashioned rimmed with pancetta over ice.
I’ve had bacon-infused or bacon-washed whiskey at a number of places, but had never tried to do it myself. So when the line in Parade about “pig grease and corn bread” was spoken I immediately thought of it. (Man, that says something about me…)
At first, I used a 100% corn whiskey and since I had recently infused some rye and port with duck fat successfully I tried a similar approach with the bacon, infusing the whiskey with the drippings after frying up a healthy amount of bacon. Um.. no. Pretty disgusting (got a bottle here for free for anyone who wants it). Next I tried infusing another batch of corn whiskey with a few slices of bacon for about 12 hours. The results were exceptionally strong (the corn whiskey was also cheap and 100 proof), and I wasn’t sure I was necessarily tasting what I would describe as bacon. Finally, I went for bourbon, which at least is over 50% corn so still kept with the theme of the drink, and I also went with a maple bacon as opposed to simply a smoked applewood. The results were much more palatable, so I used this as a base.
After an attempt using maple syrup (way too sweet, even in a small amount) I opted for a maple liqueur, with the amaro for some added bitterness and the maple bitters to tie the bitter with the sweet. The vermouth just opened up the drink a bit, smoothing out the rough edges. For a garnish, I fried up some pancetta, let it dry, then ground it up and rimmed the glass. The saltiness was a nice contrast to the sweetness of the drink, and certainly contributed to the bacon taste of the result. Alternatively, I have tried it with a little sprinkling of bourbon smoked salt instead, and that was equally yummy.