As the weather outside gets crisp, try an updated version of the classic Manhattan cocktail. Enjoy your bacon twice: once in the infused rye, and again as a salted, chocolate covered swizzle.
Ingredients 
  • 2 oz bacon infused rye*
  • ½ oz sweet vermouth
  • 2-3 dashes Angostura bitters
  • 8 oz smoked bacon (“applewood” or “hickory smoked” both are good for infusing)
  • 12 oz rye
  • 6 4” slices of thick cut smoked bacon
  • 3.5 oz 85% Dark Chocolate bar
  • Large flake sea salt
Recipe by Allison Hamlin, Astor Center
 
Combine rye, vermouth and bitters in a mixing glass. Add ice and stir until well chilled. Strain over fresh ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a slice of salted chocolate bacon**.
 
*To make bacon infused rye
Ingredients:
8 oz smoked bacon (“applewood” or “hickory smoked” both are good for infusing)
12 oz rye
 
Render smoked bacon. Remove the bacon slices from the pan. In a heat safe non-reactive container, measure out rye. Pour the warm liquid fat over the rye, cover and let sit at room temperature for at  least an hour (longer for a more pronounced flavor). To skim fat, place the container in the freezer overnight. Once the fat has congealed and hardened, remove by breaking apart. Filter infused rye through a coffee filter or fine strainer to remove any remaining particles. Store tightly sealed for up to two months.
 
**To make salted chocolate bacon garnish
Ingredients:
6 4” slices of thick cut smoked bacon
 3.5 oz 85% Dark Chocolate bar 
Large flake sea salt
 
Lay bacon on a sheet tray and bake at 375 ̊ for 20 minutes, or until crisp, but not dry. You may need  to pour off some of the rendered fat during the process (use this to make more bacon infused rye).  Remove from oven and transfer to a rack until cool. Temper chocolate in a double boiler. Dip or paint half of the bacon with melted chocolate, sprinkle with  salt and let cool until set. Refrigerate until ready to use.
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