Guest Post: Jeffrey Morgenthaler is an accomplished mixologist from Portland, Oregon always in search of elements to take his cocktails to the next level. Learn more about him and why we’re excited for him to join the Traeger Pro Team here. Read his post on his Smoked Bacon Old Fashioned below.
One of the best things about having a Traeger is the ability to easily make your own homemade bacon. It’s a fun weekend project and the reward is beautiful, smoky bacon that’s better than just about anything you’ll find in the stores.
But what to do with all that delicious bacon when you’re done? Well, I like to take a page from my good friend Don Lee, formerly of the iconic New York speakeasy Please Don’t Tell, and infuse some bourbon with smoky bacon.
To begin, cook about a quarter pound of bacon in a pan over medium heat. I like to cut some large cubes of bacon that I can save for later as a topping for salad or baked potatoes. When the bacon is browned, set it aside for later. It’s the fat you’re going to be using to infuse the bourbon. Let the fat cool slightly so that you can work with it.
Pour 1/4 cup of warm (not hot!) liquid bacon fat with the entire contents of a 750ml bottle of bourbon in a glass or heavy plastic container. A large Pyrex measuring cup works well for this. Take a fork and give it a good stir. Let it sit on the counter for a few hours, giving it another stir every so often.
After about four hours, pop the whole thing in the freezer. After about an hour, that fat will congeal and you can simply scoop it out with a spoon. I like to fine-strain the whole mixture through a sieve as well, just to get every last drop of congealed fat out of the bourbon.
Congratulations! You now have a bottle of bacon fat infused bourbon that you can use to make Don’s famous Bacon Old Fashioned with.
Smoked Bacon Old Fashioned Recipe
2 ounces bacon infused bourbon
1/4 ounce maple syrup
2 dashes Fee Brothers’ Old Fashioned bitters
Orange peel, for garnish
Combine ingredients with ice and stir until cold. Strain over fresh ice in an Old Fashioned glass and garnish with orange peel.
For more posts like this, read about the story behind how Jeffrey Morgenthaler created his Smoked Pineapple Hotel Nacional Cocktail.