Bacon vodka is a fusion of vodka and bacon flavoring. It is easily confused with the brand Bakon Vodka, which is the brand name of a potato vodka with bacon flavor. Bacon vodka is part of a trend of adding flavors to alcohol, either to shoot them straight or add them to mixed drinks. It is also part of bacon mania, a pop culture trend which has been sweeping the food industry in the early part of this century.
So-called carnivorous cocktails are able to satisfy a meat-craver at the bar. Reports have been made of a ham-and-cheese cocktail and drinks made with foie gras and lamb. There is a drink called a B.L.T. cocktail, which contains clear tomato water, bacon vodka and ice cubes made of lettuce water. One of the more common drinks made with bacon vodka is a bloody mary.
There are historical references to savory-infused ales as well. John Locke wrote in the 1600s of meat-infused beverages, and Ernest Hemingway made the “bull shot” famous at his favorite bar in Venice in the 1940s. Even the bacon martini, made with bacon vodka, has been around for over a decade.
Beer is often used as a marinade for meats. Now bacon vodka and other meat-infused alcohols can easily be used as marinades. Simply soak the meat in a mixture of alcohol and other flavors, or use a brand of alcohol which already has savory flavors added to it. Another combination with food is the bacon vodka oyster shooter, in which the bacon vodka is imbibed straight.
Adding flavor to vodka is called vodka infusion. They can be homemade or bought commercially. Flavored vodkas can contain anything from traditional citrus and berry flavors to newer trends such as bacon flavor. Sugar is not added to flavored vodkas or else it is called a liqueur.
Just as home breweries are becoming quite a trend for creating alcohol, one can also experiment with adding flavors to spirits. Making bacon-flavored vodka simply requires bacon and vodka. Soak the bacon in vodka for four to five hours, stirring at room temperature, and then freeze the mixture to skim the fat. This is known as fat-washing.
Those who experiment with adding flavors to drinks are called mixologists. The term implies a level of professionalism in creating customized cocktails, and is not just a bartender experimenting with various mixtures. One of these mixologists created the now-famous bacon martini.