12.8.09 The Piggyback

Piggyback 790 xxx
photo by george billard
This bacon-infused bourbon cocktail was inspired by the Old Fashioned at PDT, a cocktail mecca in New York City’s East Village. I think the star-anise-infused cider syrup gives mine a nice complexity, and the fresh lemon juice sparks the dark, smoky flavors. I entered this drink as a contender on Food52, when the theme was "Your Best Pork and Apple Cider Recipe" and , although it didn't win, it was one of the week's editors' picks. (Probably because it really stood out against all the ((admittedly delicious-looking)) recipes for cider-braised pork shoulder.)

Bacon-Infused Bourbon

  • — 375 ml bourbon, such as Tuthilltown's Baby Bourbon
  • — 2 slices smoky bacon, cooked to render 3/4 ounce of fat

Decant the bourbon into a large glass jar with a wide mouth.

Fry the bacon in a skillet to render the fat. (Scarfing the bacon down is de rigueur!)

Once it’s cooled a bit, strain the fat into the jar of bourbon.

Let it sit out for about 6 hours and then put it in the freezer.

Once the fat is completely hardened, scoop it all out with a slotted spoon.

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Apple Cider Syrup

  • — 2 cups organic apple cider
  • — 1 tablespoon brown sugar (like dark muscovado)
  • — 1 tablespoon maple syrup, grade B preferred
  • — 1-2 star anise

Combine ingredients in a small saucepan and keep at a strong simmer until liquid has reduced to 2/3 cup. Strain out the star anise.

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The Piggyback

  • — 2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon
  • — 1 1/2 ounces cider syrup
  • — 1 ounce lemon juice

Into a cocktail shaker with ice, pour bourbon, syrup and lemon juice and shake. Strain into a rocks glass filled with ice. You can double the ingredients and shake two at a time if you’re not drinking alone.

Download recipe  Download Recipe


Nice! We're so on the same page. Unabashed use of smoked belly - love it.
Michelle on February 4, 2010 at 3:26 pm —
Welcome, pork fiend! ;-)
laura on February 4, 2010 at 5:07 pm —