Bacon’s a versatile food. That’s one thing we know for sure. You can have it in the morning with eggs or pancakes or waffles. You can have it at an afternoon barbecue served on top of your cheeseburger. You can even fancy it up and justify having it for dinner by wrapping it around steak or scallops. But for all its versatility, bacon may be one of those foods that you shouldn’t even try to convert into a beverage.
The Good Men Project, with help from Esquire, has already evaluated some bacon-flavored concoctions to see how drinkably delicious they really are. The verdict? They’re not.
But on Christmas, my family members got to see for themselves if bacon-infused spirits deserve a place in the liquor cabinet. My cousin, dressed in a big, red Santa suit and, for no apparent reason, a Jets jersey, came Ho-Ho-Ho-ing through the door to my grandmother’s house with a bottle of Bakon vodka in tow.
Bakon, a real bacon-infused vodka, is a product of Black Rock Spirits in Seattle, Washington. Created by three friends in 2007, the product officially launched locally in May of 2009.
Lately, it’s been getting a lot of positive attention. The Tasting Panel’s 2010 Yearbook of Outstanding Spirits named Bakon “most well-rounded,” and in November, the Beverage Testing Institute awarded it a Gold Medal. CNN, The Today Show, Maxim, and NPR have all featured it. I couldn’t find a video advertisement for Bakon, so just check out the TV news story from Seattle (below), which is so positive and complimentary it might as well be an advertisement for the product.
It’s only available in limited quantities now, but they ship to most liquor stores by special request. That’s how my cousin got his hands on some. He heard about it, was curious, and decided to check it out as a joke.
After hearing the pitch from my cousin, some of my family members were ready to try. My cousin poured out four shots from the bottle. They all brought it to their lips, smelling the grease and recognizing the distinct smells of alcohol and breakfast meat (although the combined odor threw my dad off a bit). On three, they tipped the cups, and on four, their faces all soured with disgust.
My dad shouted, “What the hell was that?!” My grandmother coughed out, “How do I let myself get talked into this crap?” My mom summed up her feelings with “Yuck.” And my cousin, having introduced the liquor to his friends earlier in the week, laughed.
There’s a good chance that Bakon may just be one of those drinks that’s not the best to be consumed straight. After all, its website’s got a page full of recipes to get the most mileage out of the greasy spirit, which, according to my family, really is quite a good imitation of the taste of bacon. Top recipes include the BLT Martini and the Bakon Chocolate Martini (although there’s also a recommendation for a straight shot of the stuff).
Regardless, after the Christmas tasting, there’s no way my family’s returning for Round 2. My dad, grandmother, and mom, at least, will be keeping their bacon as a solid. For the rest of you bacon guzzlers, I salute you. Clink those Bakon Marys together and ring in the new year!