There are two amazing things about today’s article. First, it’s all about a bacon BLT. But second – and more importantly, it’s the first contribution from BT field reporter Sara G. Welcome to the team, Sara!
As an added bonus, Sara also sent us the FULL recipe for the bacon BLT created by mixologist Brent Jones of Library at Hotel Jerome in Aspen, CO. You’ll find it at the end of Sara’s article.
Ahhh Bacon…a beloved American classic that drums up images of sizzling, crunchy strips accompanying eggs, on a sandwich or in a cobb salad. Not typically thought of as a cool thirst quencher…until now. Brent Jones, a molecular mixologist at the famed Hotel Jerome, A RockResort in Aspen, CO, has taken his love of bacon to a whole new level with his innovative BLT cocktail.
The unique cocktail, which is causing quite a buzz in Aspen, is created with bacon fat washed vodka, fresh juiced organic tomatoes, and a foam lettuce topping. Brent creates the components from scratch.
The inspiration: One evening while tending bar at the recently renovated Library lounge at Hotel Jerome, Brent noticed a new food item on its seasonal menu…A completely organic BLT made with fresh tomatoes, crispy bacon and iceberg lettuce. After serving a few of the sandwiches to patrons during his shift, his BLT craving began. By the end of the night it dawned on him to concoct a drink recipe that breaks down the sandwich into its three main components. What Brent developed was a distinct replica of the BLT flavors combined into one exciting beverage.
Bacon Fat Washed Vodka (by Brent Jones)
Fat washing is a method of extracting ?avor from fat, without the greasy texture. I ?rst encountered this method while taking the Beverage Alcohol Resource (BAR) class in New York City.
1lb of uncooked bacon
Cook the bacon, collecting the fat. Dump the vodka into a minimum volume 1 liter container. It should be noted to use a container with a large opening, perhaps a mixing bowl. Heat the bacon fat until it becomes a liquid, and pour it into the bowl containing the vodka. Stir and let the bowl set at room temperature for a minimum of 2 hours. Place the bowl in the freezer for 1 hour to congeal the fat, ?nally strain and ?lter the liquid. A strainer or chinois, and a common coffee ?lter will do the trick.
While it seems like a no brainer to use a can of tomato juice or V8, fresh made seasonal tomato juice is well worth the effort.
1 tomato (or as many as you would like)
Fill a Large sauce pan ?lled 3/4 full with water, and bring to a very light boil. Blanch the tomato in the hot water for 15 seconds, remove and allow to cool. Peel the tomato using a pairing knife, pulling away the skin. Throw the skinless tomato in a blender or a juice extractor, and strain the juice using a chinois.
As a molecular mixologist, I am constantly conducting new experiments on cocktails. Earlier the same day (just prior to the BLT idea) the Hotel Jerome executive chef Chris Keating and I were experimenting with soy lecithin. Lecithin is a phospholipid most commonly used in the culinary ?eld as an emulsi?er and/or to make an air (very similar to a foam). Given this nature, we thought there could be a possible use for it in constructing cocktails.
4 oz lettuce juice
1/2 tsp soy lecithin
2 oz water
aerolatte milk frother
Extract the juice from the lettuce using either a blender or a juice extractor. If using a blender, be sure to strain the juice using a chinois. In a container (5 inches wide or larger) combine 4oz lettuce juice + 2 oz water + 1/2 tsp soy lecithin and mix with an aerating device. In this case, the aerolatte milk frother works well. If more air is desired, just add some more soy lecithin to the same solution, and mix.
Making The BLT
Small sherry glass
1 oz Bacon Fat Vodka
2 oz Tomato Juice
Salt & Pepper
Using 2 mixing glasses, ?ll one with ice. In the empty glass combine a few shakes from both the salt and pepper shakers, the bacon fat vodka, and the tomato juice. Pour the mixture over the other mixing glass containing the ice, and continue to mix by pouring the iced solution back and forth 3 or 4 times. Using a julep or hawthorne strainer, strain the liquid into the sherry glass and top it off with the lettuce air.
*It should be noted, the bacon vodka in a bloody mary cocktail is delicious!!!!