A Drink To Get Your Teeth Into
Early fans of The Institute for Alcoholic Experimentation (IAE) may be aware of Mr. Hartley's glass of bacon liqueur to celebrate the founding of our great institution.
Well, I don't have any bacon liqueur, but after someone mistook my mincemeat vodka for beef mince vodka, I started to think of drinks with a little more meat to them.
I started with some bacon, which I fried until crispy. Originally I was just going to use the fat from the pan (the "fat wash method"), but as this seemed rather measly, I didn't think I would have a leg to stand of in terms of giving the vodka any flavour; so, instead, I decided to beef it up a little by adding the crispy bacon, thus the flavouring was a joint effort between the two.
After leaving the meat and vodka to marinate for a while, I gave it a little taste (I didn't want to be called a chicken); it still had some of the fat in it and so wasn't very good.
After a further 6 hours of steeping, the bacon was thoroughly basted by the vodka and so I threw the former out and began to strain the spirit. Amazingly, the liquid began to clear until it resembled apple juice and, for the first time, I thought my experiment might not just be a turkey.
The last 10% of the spirit didn't make it to the final product (I only took the finest cuts), as it was mostly heavy sediment.
As regards the taste, the biggest problem with this seemed to be psychological; meaty alcohol is a bit odd and may turn the stomach of the hardiest. In fact, Mrs. B said it rather slaughtered her taste buds and, when asked if it had any redeeming qualities, not a sausage; not exactly high praise. Although it looks nice, it is merely mutton dressed as lamb.
I did have fun coming up with a cocktail though: the Bacon Sarnie, which consisted of a layer of tomato ketchup, followed by the bacon vodka and garnished with a triangle of lightly toasted bread. This wasn't too bad, but did butcher the Martini.*
I think more experimentation is definitely needed to wrestle with the gristle of meaty drinks, but I would say there is a reasonable steak that something tasty may emerge. Reducing the saltiness of the vodka would be a good start; next stop, the Full English Breakfast Cocktail.
* This wasn't really a Martini, it was just served in a Martini glass.