Golden Hog Recipe

Pair pineapple and bacon for a crisp cocktail.


1 ripe pineapple, peeled, cored and cut into 1″ chunks
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Simple Syrup to taste
6 oz bacon-infused bourbon, divided
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Crushed ice
Candied bacon, for garnish

Bacon Infused Bourbon:
1 lb bacon,* chopped
1 750 mL bottle bourbon

*Use heavily smoked bacon to fully imbue the bourbon with its flavour. Mildly smoked bacon will be masked by the spirit.

Simple Syrup:
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup water

Candied Bacon:
16 strips thick-cut bacon
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp Aleppo pepper*

* Aleppo is a type of crushed red pepper native to Syria. It is available at specialty markets and is piquant and vibrant.


For The Cocktail:
Step 1: Pulse pineapple and vanilla in a food processor until no pineapple bits remain and mixture is frothy.

Step 2: Add simple syrup to taste. Transfer half the mixture to a shaker and add 3 oz of the bourbon and 1 dash of the bitters. Shake vigorously and pour into 2 ice-filled glasses. Repeat with remaining pineapple mixture, bourbon, bitters and ice.

Step 3: Garnish with candied bacon and serve.

For The Bacon-Infused Bourbon:
Step 1: Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until crisp.

Step 2: Using a slotted spoon, transfer bacon to a paper-towel-lined plate and pour fat into a large bowl.

Step 3: Reserve bacon for another use.

Step 4: Let fat cool to room temperature, about 10 minutes, and then pour 1/2 cup of it into a wide-mouth 1quart jar.

Step 5: Add bourbon, seal jar, and freeze for at least 6 hours. Using a spoon, scrape off and discard the fat.

Step 6: Strain bourbon through a fine-mesh sieve lined with cheesecloth into a bowl. Pour bourbon through a funnel into its original bottle or store in another jar. Makes one 750 mL bottle.

For The Simple Syrup:
Step 1: Combine sugar and water in a small saucepan.

Step 2: Bring to a simmer over medium heat and cook, stirring, until sugar is completely dissolved.

Step 3: Let cool to room temperature and store, refrigerated, in an airtight container.

Step 4: Syrup will keep indefinitely.

For the Candied Bacon:
Step 1: Adjust 2 oven racks to upper-middle and lower-middle positions and preheat oven to 400°F.

Step 2: Line 2 rimmed baking sheets with foil. Arrange 8 strips of bacon on each baking sheet.

Step 3: In a small bowl, stir together brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, black pepper, cumin and Aleppo pepper. Rub sugar mixture over both sides of bacon. Once coated, rearrange strips in a single layer.

Step 4: Bake, turning once halfway through cooking until bacon is crisp and golden, 16-18 minutes.

Step 5: Transfer sheet to cooling rack and cool bacon to room temperature.

Make Ahead Tip:
Prepare the bacon up to 1 day in advance and store, refrigerated, in a single layer in an airtight container. Before serving, warm on a baking sheet in a preheated 350°F oven for about 5 minutes, or until crisp.

See more recipes from Winter Cocktails.

Excerpted from Winter Cocktails by María del Mar Sacasa (2013 Random House of Canada).