Manhattan – Bulleit Rye Bacon
This recipe is totally back to basics. When I was a bartender people would often ask me for a dry Manhattan. I was a young know-it-all, right out of college, and being no fan of dry vermouth I often made a perfect Manhattan (usually equal parts sweet and dry vermouth) no matter what they ask for. When they said “dry” I just heard “I want a great tasting drink.” And without exception, everyone that tried my version of a Manhattan would make a comment like that was “a great Manhattan” and some would say it was the “best they had ever had.” I was happy for the compliment, but also a bit sad that I (a non-Manhattan drinker) had rocked their world by ignoring their request.
So here I go again, but this time I’ve done it for bacon. Just like an amazing cocktail, it starts with great ingredients. Bulleit Rye, Martini & Rossi Vermouth, Luxardo cherries and juice, Angostura aromatic bitters and of course great pork belly (not often found in a Manhattan). I had to make and drink a bunch of perfect Manhattans to make sure this bacon was just right and I recommend you do the same.
This bacon is a homage to my buddy Cal who has introduced me to way too many great wines and alcohols over the years. He introduced me to Bulleit Rye one very cold night at a Chicago hotel bar. I can’t say I fell in love with it, but it gave me a real appreciation for what good rye could do for a cocktail and sure enough, it helps makes bacon amazing.