Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cocktail Hour - Candied Bacon Martini

I figure we should start this new segment off with a bang. Blending cocktails into a food blog is not too difficult a task but when you add bacon to it, it really makes it simple.

This Candied Bacon Martini is going to take a little time, but it would be a great WOW-factor at your next party and the time-consuming part (baking the bacon) can be done ahead of time.

I will warn you, this is a very sweet cocktail without the bacon but when you add the bacon...whoa mama! The salty and smokiness of the bacon totally off-sets the sweetness from the maple syrup in the cocktail. If you're really not into sweet cocktails (we'll be added some for you soon), just add a little more apple brandy to the shaker.

The bacon is candied by coating it in brown sugar and baking it. The recipe calls for 2 strips of bacon per cocktail and I totally shorted us and only gave us 1/2 a strip each. We both wished we'd had at least a whole strip a piece, so don't skimp on the bacon.

We baked our sugar-coated bacon for about 15-17 minutes. It did get a shiny hard-candied shell on the bacon but the pictures didn't really pick that up. Make sure you coat it good in the sugar because a lot doesn't melt off. You should also be sure to cover your pan in foil because burnt sugar will ruin your pan.

The flavor of this cocktail was amazing and it was really a lot of fun to make and drink! I'd even serve it with a meal that had smoked bacon in it or any sort of smoked food. Hope you'll give this a try and let me know what you think!

Candied Bacon Martini
Source: LA Times

Total time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4

Candied bacon
8 slices smoked bacon
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons light brown sugar

Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil, shiny side up. Dredge the bacon on both sides in the brown sugar and arrange the slices so they do not touch on the sheet. Bake until the bacon is richly caramelized, 15 to 25 minutes. Use a pair of tongs to transfer the bacon strips to a cooling rack and allow the excess fat to drain. Serve warm as candy or cool until hardened for the martinis.

6 ounces premium vodka
4 ounces Applejack brandy
2 ounces amaretto liqueur
2 ounces maple syrup, preferably grade "B"
4 thin slices tart apple, such as Granny Smith
2 slices candied bacon, halved crosswise

Chill 4 martini glasses. In a large cocktail shaker, combine the vodka, brandy, amaretto and maple syrup with ice. Shake until combined and chilled. Strain the cocktail into the 4 chilled glasses and garnish each with an apple slice and half a slice of candied bacon. Serve immediately.

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