COCKTAIL

00:00 June 01, 2011
By: David Vicari
PIG-TAILS: PUTTING THE PORK IN MIXED DRINKS

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[Where Y'At Staff/Provided Photo]
BY ANNE BERRY

A bacon-based cocktail sounds like Saturday morning, with an invite to stay for afternoon barbecue. But it seems risky to infuse spirits with something as unstable as pork fat. You don't want pig grease blurring your drink's components.

To show it can be done cleanly, Squeal bartender Patrick Young poured me a shot of their housemade, bacon-infused vodka. It was clear and still as water, with a distinct bacon bite.

Young's secret is to add rendered bacon fat to different spirits and then freeze the mixture, so that the fat binds together and pushes to the top. The fat solids are easy to skim off, and they've already robed the base spirit with an invisible, clean and porky essence.

In the Glazed Ham cocktail, Young pairs this infused vodka with housemade gingerbrown sugar simple syrup (a flirty concoction on its own) and tops it off with pineapple juice. The opening porky punch quickly mellows to a maple finish, while the ginger keeps it bright. But this is not a feminine drink.

"Bacon makes it manly," said Young, who runs Squeal with brothers Gene and Brendan. "It crosses the bridge no matter what."

Glazed Ham

Written by Gene Young, courtesy of Squeal Bar-B-Q

• 3 oz. bacon-infused vodka*

• 1 TBSP ginger-brown sugar simple syrup

• 2 oz. pineapple juice

• Shake together, serve over ice, garnish with a cherry.

*Make the bacon fat wash by cooking about 3 pounds of chopped, smoked bacon, then pouring off the cooled fat into a bottle of your favorite spirit. Wait at least 4 hours, then scrape off the top fat. Use the infused spirit any way you wish, or sip it straight.

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