There is bacon everything on the market. I love the smokey pork product as much as anyone, but how much is too much? Months ago, I was introduced to something called Bacon Syrup. While I was very skeptical at first, an initial whiff of the liquid produced by Torani had me going,”Wow!”. It truly smelled like bacon, not just artificial smoke like most “bacon-flavored” substances that are now dominating the food and drink market. The scent is thick and hearty, and if your eyes were closed and someone surprised you with this, you would no doubt believe that there was a plate of bacon sitting right in front of your nose.
Now, upon hearing of such an item in existence, my first thought was that the liquid would be thick like maple syrup, and even be something I could use as a replacement on pancakes or waffles. I was wrong. It has a watery consistency, and although you can use it however you like, the intent is actually for drinks; cocktails in particular. But it was downhill from there.
I quickly scoured the internet for cocktail recipes involving bacon syrup. There were a few called the “Tipsy Pig”, which are pretty much bacon-flavored Manhattans. Can we be regal and call it a “Bacontini”? Nevertheless, I whipped up a small amount of this beverage for Brett and I to try. The recipe I used was (this is for two drinks): 3 ounces of bourbon, 1 ounce of the bacon syrup, 1 ounce of sweet vermouth, and a few dashes of aromatic bitters. I debated what kind of bourbon to use. I didn’t want something ultra cheap like Heaven Hill, and I certainly wasn’t going to use Maker’s Mark in case the drink ended up being disgusting. So, I went with a moderately priced Lexington which is an “okay” bourbon. The concoction was shaken with plenty of ice, and then dripped into two mini martini glasses.
The smokey bacon smell dominates the aroma, but you still get a hint of the bourbon. The taste, however, is the complete opposite. You get the bourbon kick first, followed by the bacon in the aftertaste. It is pleasant for about 10 seconds, then your taste-buds start to turn. It’s an unexpected rejection. I love bacon, bourbon, and everything else in this drink. But together? It’s like washing down a steak with a glass of milk. The vermouth is nearly invisible and the bitters are barely there. Perhaps more of the sweet vermouth—the great rectifier of cocktails—was needed. The complexion of the drink is not exactly appetizing either. I garnished it with a cherry (or I could have used an orange peel twist) just to break up the overly murky brown color.
Actually, I don’t even have a picture of the finished product because I didn’t want anyone to know I ever served something up which looked that disgusting. If anything is going for this mixture, it’s the bacon and bourbon creating a decent aroma. Too bad the flavors are such a clash.
I would never drink again, but I’m glad I tried it. Negative experiences can be educational. Perhaps there are those out there who would love this. I never presume that I speak for anyone when I write a review, but I think you’ll find that I’m pretty close with this one. I will also warn you: if you don’t like bacon or heavily-smoked products in general, just stay away from the syrup and drink all together. Maybe I’ll experiment with more drinks in the future, but for now, I will relegate this product to mixing with maple syrup and pouring over my next batch of pancakes.