Wednesday, June 27, 2012

DIY - Bacon Bourbon (or Whiskey)

(Note the photos show a popular version of a "Tennessee"/ sour mash whiskey, which is not by definition a bourbon)

In writing last week's popular post on Bacon Chocolate Bourbon Truffles, I began to wonder why I never tried to make bacon infused bourbon/ whiskey (other than the fact that whiskey and I aren't close drinking buddies).  It's super simple, only requires two ingredients, and uses the nifty, Bill Nye-esque trick of differential freezing points.

I can tell you that the finished product (in my case Jack Daniels Tennessee Whiskey) will taste like bacon with a sultry alcoholic kick to the back of the palate.  It's definitely not something I would to drink everyday, but it's so easy to make I'll let you try it and see for yourself.

Bacon Bourbon (in this case Tennessee Whiskey) being mixed before freezing

Step 1-
Cook bacon; save grease.  In this case, the exotic smoked flavors found in some designer bacon cuts could lead to some funky flavor combinations in the final product.  I would stick to more neutral hardwoods (hickory, maybe apple) for your first experiment.  To cook the bacon, simply put it on a wire rack on top of a sheet pan and place in a un-preheated oven.  Then turn the heat to 425 degrees and let it cook until crispy (approximately 20-25 minutes depending on how quickly your oven comes to temperature)

Step 2-
Eat bacon (revel in the fact that your at the top of the food chain and someone's not eating you on a BLT)

Step 3-
Pour the fat through several layers of cheese cloth to remove any crunchy bits of bacon/ gristle.

Bacon Grease prior to straining

Step 4-
Cool the fat to room temperature or slightly colder, but still retaining it in a liquid state.  Remember alcohol evaporates from solution at approximately 170 degrees (f), so if your grease is too hot the alcohol will evaporate leaving you with watery fat.

Step 5-
Combine one part bacon grease to three parts bourbon/ whiskey in a container with a tight fitting lid.  Shake vigorously.

Bacon Bourbon, post shaking

Step 6-
Allow the grease and bourbon to mellow at room temperature for approximately 6-12 hours.

Step 7-
Without disturbing the top layer of grease, transfer the container to the freezer.  Leave it in the freezer until the top layer of grease has formed a solid mass.

chillin in the freezer (sorry for the pun) next to its lemon-infused cousin

Step 8-
Remove the layer of grease... and voila; Bacon Bourbon (or in my case whiskey)!

Eat good food.  Drink good beer.  And above all, stay classy!


  1. You made bacon whiskey bud. Which isn't a bad thing.. Buuut.

    Whiskeys are distilled from a fermented mash of grain (usually corn, rye, barley or wheat) and then aged in oak barrels. E.g. Jack Daniels.

    Bourbon Whiskey is distilled from a mash of grain containing not less than 51 percent corn and is normally aged four years in new charcoal oak barrels. E.g. Jim beam

    1. Thanks for reading anon. You are absolutely correct in your assessment of the definition Bourbon Whiskey (hence my initial disclaimer and subsequent references to "bourbon/ whiskey"). But it is also worth pointing out to readers that all bourbon is whiskey, but not all whiskey is bourbon.

      As for your contention regarding the barrel aging process I cannot seem to find any reference to the difference in barrels used in bourbon/ sour mash production. I do know that Jack Daniels uses both charred oak barrels and an activated charcoal process to produce their "distinctive" taste.

      Interesting to note the term "Bourbon" is only applicable in two countries; the U.S. and Canada. In these countries, specific regulations regarding its content and point of origin exist to protect certain standards deemed to be characteristics of the style. The French call their version "cognac," the inhabitants of the British Isles call it "scotch," but the rest of the world just calls it "whiskey."


Thanks for your comments!