If you’re looking for a last minute gift for the holidays, think of something homemade. Like infused alcohol. You can add almost any ingredient that you like to whatever spirit would be enjoyed most. Infuse tequila with a few jalapenos (the longer this sits, the hotter it will be). Add cinnamon, lemon or pineapple to vodka. And of course, there’s the popular bacon infusion. Whatever spirit you decide to use, make sure it’s a brand that doesn’t immediately induce headaches. I went with Old Overholt Rye, a decent bottle that isn’t too expensive.
For a festive holiday drink, I added some cherry juice to make a Bacon Cherry Bomb (recipe follows infusion recipe). It’s a gorgeous red that will brighten any party. Happy Holidays Everyone!
8 strips of bacon
3 cups of rye
1 mason jar
Make sure jar is sterilized (dishwasher is preferable). Pour rye into jar.
Cook bacon until crisp in pan.
Remove bacon strips and set aside. Reserve all bacon drippings. Let cool. Add drippings to rye.
Add 2 strips of bacon to jar, if desired. (Sure you’ll find a use for the rest of the bacon.) If in a hurry, put in freezer for at least 4 hours until drippings become solid. If you have more time, allow rye to sit for 2-4 days at room temperature or in refrigerator or freezer if you’re concerned about leaving it out.
Once infused, pour rye through a fine mesh strainer to remove lard and bacon bits. It will appear cloudy.
Then strain again with either cheesecloth, a coffee filter or napkin depending on what you have available.
If the rye is still cloudy, strain again. Once clear, it’s ready to use. Store at room temp or in the refrigerator for up to several weeks.
Bacon Cherry Bomb
4 oz of bacon-infused rye
4 oz of cherry cocktail
A couple drops of cherry bitters
1-2 tsps of sour cherry syrup
Sour cherries for garnish
Fill cocktail shaker with ice. Add all liquid ingredients. Shake. Pour into glass and add in cherries.