Bring on the bourbon

November 29, 2012

This week’s posts are (mostly) all focused on entertaining over the holidays. Enjoy!

Over the past year or so, bourbon cocktails have become my go-to (I enjoyed a potent one with brunch at The Publican in Chicago — a tad strong for me as a morning drink, but I couldn’t resist!).

Wild Turkey 81 launched in Canada about a month ago and I had a chance to chat with associate distiller and Kentucky Bourbon Hall of Fame member Eddie Russell when he was in Toronto. Wild Turkey 81 was developed as a lower-proof, older whiskey (as compared to a previous 80 proof whiskey they’d produced), says Russell. “Something for the younger generation. Bourbon has been an older gentleman’s drink, and we wanted something that was mixable that would appeal to men and women, something light and easy to drink.”

And easy to drink it is (um, so easy that I didn’t even manage to snap a photo of my Bacon Maple Bourbon Sour during our chat at the County General…oops!). If you’re up for breaking out the shaker and preparing some delicious bacon syrup this holiday season, I highly recommend this recipe (and puh-lease invite me over if you’re serving these up!).

If you want to experiment with your mixologist skills, Wild Turkey 81, thanks to its citrus, vanilla and caramel flavours mixes well with similar ones. As for pairing it with food, think meat. Traditionally, bourbon goes with steaks, BBQ and ribs, says Russell.

And if you want to drink it like a Southern gent, Russell drink his bourbon on ice, “because I love the flavour and taste — I was born and raised on bourbon.”

The Bacon Maple Bourbon Sour
egg whites from 1 egg (3/4 oz. if using pasteurized)
1 oz. of fresh squeezed lemon juice
3/4 oz. bacon infused maple syrup (see recipe below)
2 healthy oz. Wild Turkey Bourbon
Shake vigorously with lots of ice in a cocktail shaker (about 20 seconds)
Strain into a glass (can serve with ice but best without)
Maple infused bacon for the garnish
Maple Bacon
1 lb. Thick cut bacon
500 ml. Maple syrup
Evenly spread 1 lb. of bacon out on a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Bake bacon at 375 degrees for about 20 min draining all grease every 5 minutes or so.
(you don’t want to burn the bacon, but you do want to render off as much fat as possible)
After the bacon is done wrap it in paper towel and let sit for about 10 – 15 minutes to soak up any extra grease.
Afterwards cut bacon into bite size chunks and add to a medium size pot with maple syrup on medium heat with a lid.
Bacon and maple should infuse for about 20 min.
Stir occasionally, and try to not let boil.
When the bacon syrup is done, let cool at room temperature and transfer into an air tight container and keep refrigerated.
Syrup will last about a week.

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