Before I even begin, let me get this out of the way: I am fully aware that there are people out there who believe that bacon is too damn trendy nowadays. To this I respond: a brick in the face.
A couple of weeks ago I decided to combine two of my life’s greatest loves: bacon and mezcal. Actually, I started thinking about this at least four months ago, but I am naturally lazy. Also, I really should have come up with this years ago, as the combination of smoked pig parts and this version of tequila (without the appellation d’origine contrôlée) is as intuitive as the proof of the Pythagorean theorem in Plato’s Meno, but I am stupid. Tomorrow finally became today, however, and I am happy to declare the experiment a success tempered by a high-school grade failure.
I began with a bottle of Real De Magueyes Añejo, from San Luis Potosi. On its own this is a decent mezcal, maybe a bit sweet and not as smoky as something from Oaxaca, but really not bad for something in the $25 range. It’s just around the sweet spot for an infusion: something that’s not so bad that you wouldn’t drink it on its own, yet not good enough to make you feel like you’re paying an insult to its maker by messing with it. I removed enough volume (I’ll leave you to figure out how) from the bottle to shove three strips of cooked Niman Ranch Applewood Smoked (Dry-cured) bacon (cooled to room temperature), and let it sit in a dark cabinet for 4 days.
I then tossed it in the freezer for a couple of days to make the solids more manageable for filtering. I can’t imagine this part is optional, unless you’re a lunatic (as you’ll find out below).
Finally, it was time to re-bottle. I chose 7 oz swivel-top glass flasks for the target, just in case I lose my mind and want to use one as a gift.
The end product was still a bit sweeter than I wanted, so I pulled out some Benesin blanco (definitely from Oaxaca) and fine-tuned it to my palate.
The, er, fumes got to me on the third bottle and I decided that a special super-porky edition was necessary, so I muddled the bacon and topped it off with a little bit of extra-fine pig juice.
It turned out that this was too much for the gods, because a few minutes later I discovered that the seal on the bottles is indeed hermetic, and so the expanding fat had to make its way out in a more infuriating way (I may be Mexican, but cleaning floors is not in my nature).
So, how is it? I don’t know… do you think you deserve this knowledge?