When I was 10, I took my first trip to the Jack Daniel's Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee. By the time I was 16, I'd rediscovered Mr Jack, and made my second trip.
Now, at 40, I always have a bottle in my liquor cabinet for making Pork Chops and Sugar Snap Peas with a Mint Julep Glaze. Somewhere along the way, I clearly lost the path.
You would never have thought my parents were actually very conservative and basically non-drinkers themselves. They took me both times, and it was on the second visit that I registered the REO Speedwagon in the front lawn of the distillery. (You know that was a fire truck from the 1920s, right?)
As my rebellious teen years came to a close, I had a Jack Daniel's poster on my wall, a black Jack Daniel's T-shirt, and, oddly, a bag of Jack Daniel's charcoal for grilling. Thank goodness the merchandise market wasn't further saturated, because in 1987 I was clearly buying whatever I could since I was too young to buy the bottles.
My high school best friend and I created a drink: a Florida Motherf***er. It was made with Jack Daniel's and grapefruit juice, and we drank it out of large Dixie party cups with lots of ice. It was terrible, but we were so cool for suffering through it.
My drinking habit moved down to Southern Comfort and Tanqueray gin, before stopping at vodka, where it pickled for several years. (But not without a quick stop back with Jack Daniels during an important stint in New York City, where a Jack & Coke could be found for $2 once a week at Rudy's on Ninth Ave. It even came with a free hot dog.)
But then that was it. I started drinking wine, wine, and more wine. Jack was relegated to the cabinet, only to come out when I wanted to make Pork Chops and Sugar Snap Peas with Mink Julep Glaze, one of my most fabulous finds on Epicurious.
And then I saw this picture of a cocktail with a piece of bacon sticking out of it.
It looks like a joke, but it's totally not — it's called a Candied Bacon Cocktail, and it's being featured as part of the JW Steakhouse's Jack Daniels Month. And rebellious teenagers, you are not invited. But those of you who would like to either drink it, or make it, are.
If you want to make it, see below.
And if you just want to know how to candy the bacon, coat the bacon with brown sugar on both sides and nake for 30 minutes. I know. So easy. Just like buying Jack Daniel's — now that you're of age.
Candied Bacon Cocktail
- 50ml Jack Daniel Single Barrel bacon infused
- 25ml Bramley & Gage Plum Liqueur
- 50ml Pomegranate Juice
- 15ml Fresh Lemon Juice
- 3 dashes of Angostura Bitters
Garnish: 1 Slice of candied bacon
Glass: Champagne Saucer
Add all ingredients to the Boston Shaker and shake it well. Double strained into a chilled Champagne Saucer
Garnish: Candied Bacon
Coat each piece of bacon, on both sides, with brown sugar. Bake for 30 minutes