A Swig Of Pig: Drinkable Bacon

Celebrated Oregon outfit Rogue Ales is the latest brand to concoct a product exploiting Americans' bordering-on-grotesque fascination with strips of smoked pork belly. Devised in conjunction with Portland's Voodoo Doughnuts, the porter recreates the experience of scoring Voodoo's much sought-after Maple Bacon Bar, and includes applewood-smoked bacon and maple syrup in its long list of ingredients. Voodoo Doughnut Bacon Maple Ale is available in a limited run at Portland-area pubs, and by mail order, in jazzy pink-painted 750 ml. bottles for $13 a throw.

Though Rogue may be the best-known outfit dabbling in the grease of our totem animal, they aren't the first. Read on to discover drinkable bacon for morning, noon, and night.

Experience the smoke without the pig parts in a bottle of Aecht Schlenkerla Rauchbier, the original smoked-malt beer designed to accompany the smoked sausages of Bamberg, Germany. This rauchbier has inspired countless imitators, including Reinschweinsgebot by Brooklyn Brewery. With a grain bill that included malt smoked in the same room as bacon combined with a bacon fat-washed brown ale, this 20-case limited run was served on a Per Se tasting menu, among other events, but never produced in quantity.

A more attainable infusion can be found in Uncommon Brewer's Organic Bacon Brown Ale brewed with bacon and buckwheat in Santa Cruz, Calif., of all unlikely places. These 16-ounce cans are available in the Bay Area, Oregon, New York, Nevada, Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Virginia.

There's more boar in a pour of Bakon Vodka, recipient of a neckful of medals and praise from professional tasters like the Beverage Testing Institute. The spirit's dry, crispy slice-of-bacon profile is a natural for bloody marys; the brand's web site offers recipes and even suggests trying a Bakon chocolate martini.

If no swinified booze lines your local vendor's shelves, the Internet abounds with recipes for bacon-izing vodka and bourbon, in the manner of New York cocktail bar Please Don't Tell and their famous Bacon Old Fashioned.

Non-alcoholic smoked pig beverages can be achieved on-the-go with fizzing bacon tablets even Willy Wonka never dared dream of. Popmaster Jones Soda experimented with a short-lived run of Bacon Soda in 2010, but has no plans to resurrect the monster for future production.

Fast-fooder Jack in the Box rolled out a Bacon Shake sans any piggy bits and heavy on the sodium benzoate over the winter, while Pirate Cat Radio Café in San Francisco whisks house-rendered bacon fat into steamed milk for a maple-sweetened latte garnished freely with Bac-Os. For just $200, Pirate Cat Radio founder Monkey will visit your house and throw a Maple Bacon Latte Party for you and 25 of your friends. The two Benjamins also score a full bacon-based brunch menu, bringing the sizzle and the plate back to the bacon experience.

— Danya Henniger, The Drink Nation


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