Good Eats

Restaurant August’s Bacon Bourbon

By Vanessa GregorySeptember 28, 2012

Bacon-infused bourbon might sound a tad over the top, but the aromatic concoction is one of the most requested recipes at Restaurant August, John Besh’s fine dining spot in New Orleans. And for good reason. “The bacon really brings out a lot of the smoky, woodsy flavor of the bourbon,” says General Manager Jeff Gulotta. Fortunately, unlike some of August’s fruit-based infusions, this one is both easy to make and unaffected by the seasons. “Bacon is year round, thank goodness,” Gulotta jokes.

For best results, buy quality pork—August uses bacon from Allan Benton and from their farm at La Provence, just across Lake Pontchartrain—and choose a good bourbon with balanced flavors, like Buffalo Trace Old Charter. Try serving bacon-bourbon neat as an aperitif, or mixed into an old-fashioned for a rich cocktail perfect for cooler months and holiday meals.

Bacon Bourbon
courtesy of Restaurant August

2 cups Buffalo Trace Old Charter bourbon
1 cup bacon fat

To render the bacon fat, put about one to one-and-a-half pounds of bacon slice by slice in a large baking dish, and bake at 300 degrees for 20-30 minutes; the low heat will prevent the fat from getting too brown.

Next, pour the bourbon into a mason jar and add warm, well-strained fat. (The fat should be totally liquefied, without any solid pieces.) Shake well and seal jar. Run under warm water for about 10 minutes to ensure the fat does not begin to congeal.

Let stand in a warm place for 6 hours, checking occasionally. If the fat begins to solidify, run under warm water and shake. After 6 hours, place jar in freezer overnight or until the fat is thoroughly frozen (it will rise to the top). Punch a hole in the frozen fat with a knife and pour the bourbon through a strainer once again. Place in a clean bottle and enjoy.

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