Saturday, March 8, 2014

Smoky Bloody Marys

With this posting I welcome the marriage of two epicurean superstars: Bacon and the Bloody Mary cocktail. There are actually two different methods to achieve this greatness. There's the simple simply add a strip of roasted bacon to your Bloody Mary. Or you can go whole hog by making bacon infused vodka.

First, a word about cooking the bacon. Start with thick-cut bacon. While you can certainly fry it up, I prefer oven roasting on a wire rack. First, roasting does a better job of crisping up the bacon. It tastes better roasted and there is less fat in the bacon as roasting on the wire rack allows it to melt away. Plus, it's simple...preheat the oven to 400º and then roast the bacon for 15-20 minutes.

Now if you want to go all in and create bacon infused vodka, the recipe is actually quite easy. Simply place 12 strips of roasted bacon in a container with a lid and add a liter of vodka. Cover and let the container sit on the counter at room temperature for 5 days (infusion works better at room temperature and the alcohol will keep the bacon from spoiling). After the five days, remove the bacon and put the vodka in the freezer. This will cause the bacon oil to freeze, but not the vodka. Then simply pour the frozen mixture through a coffee filter. The bacon oil will stay in the filter and you are simply left with bacon infused vodka. (You may want to pour it through the coffee filter a few times to get your desired level of clarity.)

The rest is pretty easy. Just follow this Food Network recipe to crank out six of the best tasting Bloody Marys to ever cross your lips.

6 slices roasted bacon
3 1/4 cups tomato juice
1 1/4 cups bacon-flavored vodka (or regular vodka)
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
1 tablespoon horseradish
2 teaspoons chipotle hot sauce
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
Freshly ground pepper
6 stalks celery with leaves

  1.  Combine the tomato juice, vodka, lemon juice, horseradish, hot sauce, Worcestershire sauce, celery salt and 1/2 teaspoon pepper in a pitcher; refrigerate until ready to serve. Pour the Bloody Mary mixture into 6 large ice-filled glasses. Add a piece of bacon and a celery stalk to each.

Pairing: A beer chaser

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