Alcohol has long been a favorite marinade/glaze/sauce for many delicious meat dishes. Who doesn’t love a plate full of braised brisket with a bourbon-peach glaze or beer-marinated chicken wings? How about a martini glass full? The superstars in the mixology world are beefing up their drink game by championing cocktails for carnivores.
The Bloody Mary bar at swanky Charlie Palmer at Bloomingdale’s offers unlimited access to ingredients such as fresh herbs, veggies, and of course, bacon. E&E Grill House in NYC gives customers libations such as the Baked Potato which is made up of bacon vodka, muddled chives, dill and hot sauce. They also have the Bloody Bull which is garnished with bacon-wrapped olives stuffed with fried blue cheese. A bacon cocktail is actually a signature drink at PDT, one of NYC’s mixology meccas. Their Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned is made with Benton’s bacon-infused bourbon.
But bacon-infused vodka and bacon Bloody Mary garnishes are so 2011. The current meaty cocktail trend extends far beyond bacon. Comme Ca in West Hollywood serves up a chicken wing-inspired cocktail. Order a Wingin’ It and you’ll find yourself drinking down añejo tequila, lime juice, carrot juice, Bloody Mary mix, ginger syrup, a dash of tabasco, and the main star – chicken stock. The drink is then garnished with a celery stock that’s been stuffed with bleu cheese.
Justice Snow’s in Aspen has even managed to sneak bone marrow into its drink selection. The Good Morning Manhattan is made with bone marrow-infused bourbon. At the infamous Sazerac in Seattle you can purchase Duck á l’Orange in sippable form. The drink is made from Grand Marnier that has been infused with duck fat, mixed with vodka, Campari, and Aperol.
Not to be outdone, Riveria in Downtown LA has even managed to make barbecue drinkable. Aptly named Barbacoa (Spanish for barbeque), the cocktail is made with tequila, chipotle, slices of red bell pepper, agave nectar, lime pieces, and a piece of hickory-smoked beef jerky.
Even though meat infused spirits are technically not all that new to the cocktail world with references by writers dating back to the 17th century, we doubt our forefathers were getting their drink on at a full-fledged meat bar. London’s Shaka Zulu introduced their meat bar in 2012 which served everything from Meatequita, a blend of tequila reposada infused with chorizo, vegetable juice, port, and balsamic vinegar, to the Wheeling Salmon which is made of smoked salmon-infused vodka with lemon pepper and ice, served with more smoked salmon for garnish and stuffed red peppers.
If your local watering hole is still only serving up vegetarian-friendly cocktails, here’s how to make PDT’s Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned at home – directions on how to make your own bacon-infused bourbon, included.