Bacon vodka is vodka infused with bacon flavor, part of a larger trend of "carnivorous cocktails" and the addition of savory flavor to mixed drinks. The infused alcohol can be sipped but is typically used in mixed drinks like the Bloody Mary or bacon martini.
History and commercial availabilityEdit
Meat-infused beverages are nothing new to the cocktail world, some famous examples including the "Bull Shot" at Ernest Hemingway's favorite bar (Harry's) in Venice in the 1940s, and references by writers as far back as the 17th century, including John Locke and Samuel Pepys, who imbibed and wrote about savory infused ales. A handful of bars and mixologists have been making bacon or other meat-infused cocktails for years, including the Double Down Saloon in Las Vegas and New York, which has been famous for their "Bacon Martini" for over a decade. Bacon and other meat-infused cocktails have only recently started enjoying wider appeal as mixologists have noted that "meat brings out the smokiness of the whiskey [and other cocktail combinations]". Mainstream interest in bacon vodka has been further driven by a pop-cultural interest in bacon, often called bacon mania.
In April 2009, Seattle-based Black Rock Spirits released a commercial version of bacon-infused vodka, which is known as "Bakon Vodka". The vodka was a result of two years of testing. Black Rock's vodka is a potato-based spirit, created using a single heating process of column distillation in an effort to keep the alcohol from "bruising". Bakon Vodka is currently available in about 40 states. It retails for about $30 per bottle. Black Rock Spirits has reported to have had commercial success to date, expanding production based on the demand.
Bacon-flavored vodka infusions can be made by pouring 120 g (4 oz) of bacon fat in 750 ml (a fifth) of vodka, continuously stirring, freezing and then removing the fat off the top. The process is known as 'fat-washing'.
Black Rock Spirits, the maker of Bakon recommends sipping the vodka rather than taking it as a shot because of the strong smoky flavor. In a mixed drink the most popular recipe is Bakon Vodka's flagship cocktail, a variation on the Bloody Mary called the "Bakon Mary", where traditional vodka is substituted with Bakon Vodka. The Bakon Caesar, popular in Canada, is a variation of the Bloody Mary that uses Clamato or clam broth.
The creation of Bakon Vodka has inspired bartenders to create a number of cocktails based on the infusion, where the smoke and umami flavor accents other more traditional flavors. Popular drinks with Bakon Vodka include the Bakon Martini, the Bakon Russian (similar to a White Russian) and the Bakon-Chocolate Martini. It can also be used in a marinade for meats such as steak, or straight in a Bakon-Vodka Oyster Shooter.
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