One of the best snacks I’ve ever had was at a speakeasy in Los Angeles which featured bottomless pint glasses of spicy candied bacon strips. Needless to say, between my muddled blackberry-bourbon cocktail and the crunch and subtle, creeping fire of this sweet, salty, pig candy, it was a very, very happy hour indeed.
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
Line a cookie sheet with aluminum foil, then place a baking rack on top. Lay bacon slices flat on the rack.
In a small bowl, combine brown sugar, maple syrup, bourbon, and cayenne pepper to form a crumbly paste and, using your fingers, pat down a thick layer on top of each slice.
Bake for 20-25 minutes or until crisp with most of the fat rendered off, then allow to cool on rack for at least 30 minutes. Serve standing proudly in a pint glass with any of these bourbon-based cocktails:
For even more heat: Whiskey Devil
For even more bacon: Bacon Old Fashioned
For even more sweetness: Vanderbilt's Hudson Buck