According to everyone who’s experienced it, bourbon and bacon make quite possibly one of the best combinations on earth. This easy-to-make adult slushie from Jerry Nevins’ Sloshies: 102 Boozy Cocktails Straight from the Freezer is no exception, bringing dry vermouth, ginger ale, and maple into the mix for good measure.
To incorporate the maple flavor into this drink, Nevins uses Cabin Fever’s maple whiskey, but don’t panic if you can’t find this product in your area—you can always make your own, as long as you’ve got access to a good, solid whiskey at around 40% alcohol, along with some high-quality maple syrup (preferably from Canada). Celebrity chef and die-hard Canadian Hugh Acheson offers some insight on using maple syrup in the kitchen (or wherever you keep your bar): “Pure maple syrup from Canada is the superior maple syrup because Quebec is the only place in the world with an independent organization that has developed a strict grading and inspection system that determines the quality of their maple syrup,” he shares. “As a Canadian, I know how special this system is; it’s what allows Quebec to produce 72% of the world’s maple syrup supply and creates the unmatched flavor of pure maple syrup that elevates any dish [or drink].”
While Cabin Fever uses Grade B maple syrup in their recipe, thanks to its dialed-back sweetness, you can use whichever grade you can get your hands on—just be sure to modify your recipe accordingly. In order to make your own maple whiskey at home, all you’ll need is your whiskey of choice (again, this should be around 40% alcohol) and your top-quality maple syrup. A general benchmark to keep in mind is eight ounces of maple per standard 750-milliliter bottle at the very most, and be sure to start small and increase the maple to taste—as many bartenders will tell you, it's easier to add more to a drink than it is to remove (which, with liquids, is pretty near impossible). If you’re planning on infusing, say, a half-bottle’s worth of whiskey, try adding one ounce of maple syrup and tasting, then increase from there until you’ve reached your desired flavor profile. Like Cabin Fever’s approach, try to err on the side of less sweet as this particular cocktail incorporates other sources of sugar, like ginger ale.
This recipe originally appeared as part of "You're Going to Need Frozen Cocktails This Summer. These 3 Are the Ones to Make."
- 3 1/4 ounces Kentucky straight bourbon
- 28 ounces ginger ale
- 2 ounces Dolin dry vermouth
- 2 3/4 ounces Cabin Fever maple flavored whiskey
- Garnish: 4 crispy bacon strips
Add all ingredients into a medium-size metal bowl and stir to combine.
Pour the liquid into a large freezer bag and place in the freezer until frozen, approximately 4 hours.
When ready to drink, massage the freezer bag by hand until it’s a wet, slushy consistency. If it’s not breaking up, run the bag quickly under hot water and massage some more.
Divide among four highball glasses.
Garnish each glass with a strip of crispy bacon.