Buttered Billionaire's Bacon Bourbon
Billionaires Bacon--bacon with brown sugar sprinkled on it and then cooked in the oven--is one of the most...oh bother, is it even necessary to describe it? It's bacon, bacon coated with brown sugar for goodness sakes, it needs no further description. But there is one thing that is, perhaps, even better: Buttered Billionaire's Bacon Bourbon. Buttered Bourbon you may have imbibed, Billionaire's Bacon you may have munched on, but the combination of the two renders a hot drink that will make you wish it would stay winter for a lot longer.
First, making bacon bourbon. Easy. Cook some bacon. Save about 1-2 ounces of the bacon fat, then put it and a 750 ml bottle of bourbon into a glass jar. Let it sit for several hours/overnight. Then put it in the freezer for several more hours, or over another night (depends how cold your freezer is); the fat will solidify, and the alcohol just gets cold without freezing. Then you can strain the bourbon back into the original bottle through cheesecloth, or lacking that, a coffee filter (don't forget to put your straining device into a funnel, or you'll have bourbon running all over the kitchen floor). You could also double strain the bourbon, straining it into another glass jar and then straining it into the original bottle. I would probably suggest the double straining method for extra purity.
OK, so, you've got bacon bourbon! Now, to the recipe. I don't know if anyone else has invented this--I imagine someone has; either way, I'm calling it...
Hot Buttered Billionaire's Bacon Bourbon
2 ounces of bacon bourbon
5 ounces of hot water
1 ounce of brown sugar syrup (recipe follows)
small bit of butter (1/3 of a tablespoon perhaps)
Heat up 5 ounces of water to near boiling. About 1 min. 40 sec in microwave.
Pour bourbon into a drinking vessel.
Pour hot water into bourbon.
Pour 1 ounce of brown sugar syrup into the mixture and stir a bit.
Put in the butter and let it melt.
Drink slowly on a cold night.
Its a simple recipe, but you will be amazed at how good it is. Now, you may be thinking, as I did at first, that 5 ounces of water is a lot for that little bit of bourbon. But the genius to this recipe (the base recipe is not mine of course, I just added the idea of baconizing it) is the brown sugar syrup--the depth and taste of the syrup mixes with the water and perfectly compliments the bourbon, boosting the depth of what would otherwise be watery bourbon.
Brown Sugar Syrup
1 cup light brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup light corn syrup
2 cups water
3 Tbs. unsalted butter
In a sauce pan, bring both sugars, corn syrup, and water to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer vigorously until thickened to a syrupy consistency, 10 to 15 minutes.
Store it in the fridge. Should be good for around 6 weeks (around the refrigerated life of butter, though I hear from some butter can go longer).
A Real Daiquiri, courtesy of Alton Brown
How to make a real daiquiri, thanks to that great celebrity chef and food expert, Alton Brown. This recipe, and others like it, can be found at the Food Network website. Enjoy this clean, sweet drink. Cheers!
2 cups crushed ice, plus extra for chilling glass
2 ounces light rum
1-ounce freshly squeezed lime juice, strained of pulp
1/2-ounce Simple Syrup, recipe follows
If your glass is not chilled, do so by placing some crushed ice in it and set it aside while you prepare the cocktail.
Place the 2 cups of crushed ice into a cocktail shaker. Pour the rum, lime juice, and simple syrup over the ice, cover, and shake well. Remove the ice from your serving glass and strain the drink into it. Serve immediately.
2 cups sugar
1 cup water
Place the sugar and water into a small saucepan over high heat. Bring to a boil. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar is completely dissolved, approximately 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the saucepan and allow to cool completely. Syrup can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Why the Martini, and How to Make One
Why? As a famous writer said (I forget his name, but it is indeed from a famous author), “…martinis make me feel civilized.” The martini: clear, crisp, clean, civilized, refined. One instinctively senses that it’s only right to be properly dressed while drinking a martini. Properly dressed meaning something decently sharp, and this can include—indeed, I almost prefer it, if I were given the choice—nice pajamas with robe and slippers. There’s also the feeling, amongst many martini aficionados, that there should be music. I can only agree with this. One thinks of Sinatra, or Dean Martin; you could even add Perry Como. No doubt there are others. I suppose one thinks of them since it was in their time, at the height of their fame, that martinis were the hip drink, imbibed by Sinatra et al.
In a word, that little martini is like a whole event unto itself.
How to make it. The crucial element here is gin. Forget vodka—James Bond drank that on screen because it was written that way; if Bond were real he would know that gin is the only way to go, because gin is the original martini, not vodka. There is no vodka martini, only a “vodkatini.” And don’t be fooled, I implore you, by the likes of “appletini” or other fruit infused nonsense. Leave it for the ladies. A real martini is composed of:
Gin: 2 or 3 ounces, tops. (Get the best gin you can—the quality does effect the drink; in this case, the price and the quality go up simultaneously). Store your gin in the freezer.
Dry Vermouth: a drop to a cap-ful. Some store it in the refrigerator.
Garnish: an olive, or a bit of lemon peel. Nothing else does a martini make.
Optional: A bit of olive juice. This makes it a “dirty” martini. I prefer my martini this way in fact.
Also Optional, but perhaps pushing the martini envelope: Alton Brown, of “Good Eats” on the Food Network, sprinkles a few flakes of smoked sea salt into his martinis, with olive juice, to create, as he says, a “Smoky, dirty martini.” It works though, because olive juice is brine, brine being of course a salty mix, and so the bit of smoky salt works.
- Chill your martini glass in the freezer for a while before hand (an hour or so).
- Use a stainless steel vessel or a glass to do the mixing. If stainless steel, hold the vessel and gently stir it about by swishing it; if a glass, stir it with a spoon.
- Put 2 or 3 ice cubes in the mixing vessel. Pour in the drop to a cap-ful of vermouth. Mix it up a bit and dump out the bit of remaining vermouth—you just want to coat the ice. Pour in the gin, and swish/stir.
- Leave it for a minute; make sure you are properly dressed.
- Swish or stir some more.
- Prepare the glass—put the olive juice in the glass, and add the olive; unless you don’t want anything to do with olives.
- Pour the mixture into the glass.
- If you want, add a pinch of smoky salt, or if not using olives, take a bit of lemon peel, pinch it over the martini to get a bit of lemon essence out, and use the peel for garnish.
- Suavely enjoy the refinement