For bourbon lovers, it’s not always easy to find a morning “hair of the dog” cocktail, at least one that’s socially acceptable for the brunch crowd. Finding the perfect bloody mary in New York City has become a weekend obsession for me over the past few years, and in all my travels I have not seen one quite like this. While it might sound like heartburn to some, I find the balance of smoke and heat pretty fantastic. I infused my bourbon with bacon fat a la PDT, but the real smokiness comes from the Maldon smoked sea salt, which is in the drink and rims the glass. I garnished mine with an orange slice, but a pickle of any kind would be delicious as well. The rest of the ingredients are standard– with a liquor that has this much character, you don’t want the other flavors to compete. Classic Tabasco adds some heat but doesn’t distract from the profile of the bourbon, and the sweetness of the orange juice keeps it from being too acidic and savory.
The Bacon Bourbon Bloody
2 oz bacon infused bourbon
6 oz tomato juice
3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed orange juice
1 tablespoon horseradish
Maldon smoked sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, combine bourbon, tomato juice, orange juice, horseradish, Tabasco (to taste), and a pinch of smoked sea salt and pepper, also to taste. Sprinkle a thin layer of salt on a small plate, run a fruit segment around the rim of a collins glass, and dip the rim in salt. Add the contents of the shaker to the glass, garnish with orange, pickle, or celery, and enjoy.