How to Make Meat-Infused Liquor

Bacon-infused bourbon is all the rage at fancy cocktail bars these days, and you can buy bacon-infused vodka at the market now. You may be tempted to try to make meat-infused liquor yourself. But note that you shouldn’t just put the bacon fat right in the drink, because that would make it really gross and oily. Instead, you can use a process called “fat washing,” which extracts the smoky, savory flavor, but leaves behind the oil. Simply add the fat to the liquor, let it sit for a few hours, freeze it, skim off the fat (which rises to the top during freezing), and then strain the resulting liquid to extract any remaining meat bits. Read about it on Chowhound.

However, know that the results can be pretty subtle. You may want to infuse your booze with other spices to simulate more of the cured meat flavor you’re seeking. Evan Zimmerman of Portland’s Laurelhurst Market makes a mean chorizo margarita. He first infuses tequila with the spices used to make chorizo (paprika, cinnamon, chiles, salt, pepper, and sugar) before fat washing, in this case with bacon. He also makes a foie gras–infused Armagnac.

“The result is a lot more delicate than it sounds,” says Zimmerman. “[The fat-infused booze] adds a subtle, meaty note.”