Bacon-infused spirits and other so-called ‘carnivorous cocktails’ are quirky options on the menus of some cutting-edge bars these days, and with the introduction this May of a mass-produced product called Bakon Vodka, flesh-flavored spirits are beginning to nudge their way into the mainstream drinking scene.
Mr Seger, general manager, mixologist and sommelier of Chicago bar/restaurant Nacional 27, is part of a multitasking breed of barkeep that likes to incorporate culinary techniques into drinks.
Bacon is the most popular meat-in-a-glass, but Mr Seger has also made a ham-and-cheese cocktail, while renowned mixologist Todd Thrasher has experimented with foie gras and lamb.
Mr Seger says that savory drinks follow cooking logic. ‘You use alcohol to deglaze a pan when you cook, so it makes sense that you can inverse it,’ he says.
To taste Mr Thrasher’s BLT cocktail, you have to head to his speakeasy PX in Alexandria. Can’t find it? That’s because there’s no sign and you have to knock on an imposing door to gain entrance.
On a recent summer night, we entered and found Jayson Smith manning the bar, doling out the BLT – a drink full of mind-bending, taste bud-tingling turns.
A huge ice cube, made with lettuce water, anchors a glass rimmed with bacon salt. Clear tomato water and bacon-infused vodka are mixed and poured over the lettuce cube.
Mr Thrasher also makes an off-the-menu special called ‘MacGriddle,’ which tastes like a McGriddle from McDonald’s. This one mixes the bacon vodka with cream, maple syrup, a whole egg and confectioner’s sugar.
Mr Smith warned us, ‘It coats your palate’ and he was right: It’s very sweet and good as a one-off dessert drink. — AP