Cocktail & Other Recipes By Spirit Bourbon Cocktails

Bone & Bacon

An elegant coupe holds a dark brown cocktail. It’s garnished with a single baby back rib bone, and stands on a surface of concentric rings. / Tim Nusog

Infused bourbons are nothing new. Whether it’s chocolate, coffee, fruit or spices, letting a bottle of bourbon rest with some flavoring agents is a fun new take on a familiar drink. One popular item in recent years with which to infuse bourbon is everyone’s favorite breakfast meat: bacon. Those who can’t resist a smoky cocktail or order the first drink on the menu promising a garnish of cured meat should stir up the Bone & Bacon, a four-ingredient bacon and beef-flavored bourbon drink by Denver bartender Dylan Holcomb.

Rather than going through the trouble of infusing pork products into whiskey yourself, the recipe for Holcomb’s drink includes Ol’ Major Bacon Flavored Bourbon. Released in 2016, this Tennessee bourbon has received positive press for its smoky, meaty flavors mixed with quality bourbon. It provides the bacon part of the Bone & Bacon, but the other half is a bit more labor intensive.

For the savory ice cubes, Holcomb uses a bone broth from the Osso Good Company, specifically its bison bone broth. If that’s not available, another bone broth can be substituted, but it’s important to use beef, bison or something equivalent; using anything like chicken or turkey will throw off the flavor profile, and using a pork bone broth runs the risk of taking the drink to over-porked levels. However, the ice cubes don’t actually go into the final product; instead they’re stirred with it, infusing the drink with flavor while chilling it. Once you’ve made them, though, you can try using them in another drink like a Bloody Mary to add even more umami notes, or in a drink like a Bourbon Old Fashioned for extra depth and savoriness.

The Bone & Bacon is essentially a Manhattan, but rather than sweet vermouth it gets Averna, a lovely, bittersweet amaro from Sicily. Additionally, rather than the traditional Angostura bitters found in a Manhattan, the Bone & Bacon calls for black walnut bitters, which add an additional richness to the already robust drink. And to really drive home the carnivorous nature of the beverage, it’s garnished with a baby back rib bone rather than a cherry or orange zest.


  • 2 ounces Ol’ Major Bacon bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce Averna amaro
  • 3 dashes black walnut bitters
  • Osso Good bison bone broth ice cubes*
  • Garnish: baby back rib bone


  1. Add all ingredients into a mixing glass.

  2. Add the broth ice cubes, and stir approximately 30 times.

  3. Strain into a coupe glass.

  4. Garnish with a baby back rib bone.

*Osso Good bison bone broth ice cubes: Combine the broth with equal parts water, chill in the refrigerator for 12 hours, skim off the fat layer that floats to the top, and place into large ice cube trays to freeze.