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Maple Syrup

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Illustrations by John Burgoyne  

Start flipping your flapjacks: It’s maple-syrup season, and if that doesn’t put a spring in your step, consider the bacon-infused-bourbon-and-maple-syrup cocktail at the East Village gin joint PDT. Its inventor Don Lee uses robust Grade B syrup, which is made at the end of the season as winter yields to spring and tree sap deepens in color and flavor. It’s available now at Greenmarket’s Deep Mountain Maple stand, whose proprietors point out that although Grade B is used primarily for cooking, it’s been gaining in popularity among the table-syrup crowd—not to mention bacon-loving barflies.

PDT’s Bacon-Infused Old Fashioned

FOR THE BOURBON- BACON INFUSION:
3 or 4 slices bacon, or enough to render 1 ounce of fat (PDT uses Benton’s, but any extra-smoky variety will do)
1 750-ml. bottle of bourbon such as Four Roses Yellow Label

FOR THE OLD FASHIONED:
2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon
1/4 ounce Grade B maple syrup
2 dashes Angostura bitters
Twist of orange

FOR THE BACON-INFUSED BOURBON: Cook bacon in pan and reserve rendered fat. (1) When bacon fat has cooled a bit, pour off one ounce from pan. (2) Pour bourbon into a non-porous container. (3) Strain the bacon fat into the container and infuse for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature. Place mixture in freezer until all the fat is solidified. With a slotted spoon, remove fat and strain mixture back into bottle.
FOR THE COCKTAIL: In mixing glass, stir 2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters with ice. Strain into chilled rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with orange twist.


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