Jamesey's Breakfast Cocktail.
Jamesey's Breakfast Cocktail. Audie Cornish/NPR
Jamesey's Breakfast Cocktail
- 1.5 ounces bacon-infused Compass Box Peat Monster Scotch
- .75 ounce molasses syrup
- .75 ounce lemon juice
- .25 ounce Grand Marnier
Directions: Shake. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with an orange zest.
Minito With Anchovy Tequila
- 1.5 ounces Boquerones cure-infused Blanco Tequila
- 1 ounce Manzanilla sherry
- .25 ounce absinthe
- 2 dashes orange bitters
Directions: Stir. Strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a lemon zest.
At restaurants across the country, the dinner menu has been bleeding not so subtly onto the cocktail list. Brown butter rum, chorizo margaritas, foie gras brandy and, of course, bacon.
We wanted to learn more about this trend in mixology, so we headed over to Proof, a restaurant just a few blocks from our studios here in Washington, D.C. There, we met up with bar manager Adam Bernbach, who gave us a little lesson in the art of "fat washing."
"Meat gives a cocktail a certain unique flavor that nothing else can give," he says. For bacon-infused scotch, Bernbach takes the fat strained from cooking bacon — the same fat everybody gets from cooking bacon at home — and pours it into a very peaty scotch. Then he puts it into a freezer for the fat to solidify.
"It will look almost like the crema of an espresso," Bernbach says. Skim that off, and presto: "What you have is the flavor tones of bacon, but none of the oil."
Bernbach says the process can take hours or days, depending on the richness of the fat.
But that's only the first step toward the real fun, making up new concoctions — like the Jamesey's Breakfast Cocktail. It's a murky mix the color of caramel, with a bright spiral of an orange rind perched on the edge of the glass.
"I think the key is integration," Bernbach recommends. "How every flavor is integrated is the most important thing. If everything can be integrated in a well-balanced and interesting manner, then you have got yourself a cocktail."