Bacon Blog #6 Drink up!

April 4, 2013
Flavor Ingredients Trends
Some might say that the only downside to bacon is that you have to eat it.  I understand where they are coming from.  Chewing your food can be EXHAUSTING!  However, bacon has saved the day once again and is now available in drinkable form.  While this may be a surprise to some, bacon has been making the jump into beverages for some time now.

A few months ago I had the opportunity to stop at a Jack in the Box and noticed they were offering a bacon flavored milkshake.  It was truly a unique experience.  Unfortunately, there was no actual bacon in or garnishing the milkshake, but what it lacked in real bacon in made up for in bacon flavor.  The shake had a fried crispy bacon taste with a good smoky finish.  While it was pretty odd at the start, the flavor started to grow on me after a bit.

Another way to enjoy your bacon in liquid form is Torani Bacon flavored syrup.  The bottle recommends adding ½ - 1oz of syrup to beverages ranging from cocktails to lattes.  The aroma of the syrup itself is very smoky yet has an acidic bite to it.  The most logical option, bacon traditionally being a breakfast food, was to put it in coffee.  The aroma of the coffee went from being roasted to smoky and the taste was very pleasant meaty, crispy bacon.  Again, the taste did take a little getting used to and my only real complaint is that it made the coffee sweet.

But my favorite way to enjoy a bacon beverage is bacon infused vodka.  Making it is very easy and I always keep a bottle in my freezer.  To make it, fry ½ a package of bacon then put the bacon and any grease into a 16 mason jar and fill to the top with vodka.  Seal the jar and let it sit in a cool dark place for 2-3 weeks.  After the 3 weeks, remove the bacon and place the jar in the freezer overnight so any residual fat will solidify.  The next day, strain and you have delicious infused vodka for drinking straight or in cocktails.  I prefer to use this in a Bloody Mary garnished with more bacon.  The best part about making your own bacon infused vodka is being able to control the profile of the finished product.  If you like hickory smoked bacon you can use that instead of applewood smoked.  If you want it to taste like crispy bacon you can cook the bacon until it is well done.  If you don’t want a rich fatty note with some mouthfeel you can leave the drippings out of the infusion.  Making your own allows you to customize to your own tastes.  Of course if you don’t have 3 weeks to wait for your Bacon Bloody Mary, you can always add 0.1% of a water soluble bacon flavor and get similar tasty results.

No matter what the occasion, breakfast, dessert or cocktail, please enjoy your bacon beverages responsibly.