I challenged myself to post 28 Sazeracs in 28 days for the month of February, but I’m not quite done. We’ve got a few bonus Sazeracs coming up that didn’t fit into the month of February.
I’ll try some different spirits, try some out at bars, and have some friends make them for me.
1 1/2 oz Calvados Reserve, Roger Groult
1/2 oz Pork Belly Fat Washed Wild Boar, er Turkey, Rye
1/4 oz “Orchard Syrup”*
Stir and strain into a chilled absinthe rinsed glass. Twist a fat swath of freshly cut lemon peel over the drink and drop in or discard as you prefer.
One of the sort of ridiculous things about having a ridiculously cute dog, is that you often meet people at the dog park. Really, they just want to pat your dog, but for better or for worse, they also have to talk to you. For a while I’ve occasionally been getting sandwiches at Pal’s Takeaway in San Francisco. One morning I noticed that one of the men who worked there walked his dog in a park near my home. We had chatted about our dogs, but not really made the connection between non-dog walk life and dog-walk life. On one of my off days, when Monty and I were on the way to the beach, I stopped at Pal’s to get a Sandwich for lunch and said, “Hey, didn’t we meet the other day walking our dogs?” Struck up an acquaintance of sorts. Some time later, walking our dogs, we got to talking again and it turned out he was enormously fond of Rye Whiskey. A man after my own heart! Anyway, as we were jawing about booze, he mentioned he was curious about these meat infused whiskies he’d been hearing about. I said, “Yeah, cool, fat washing is fun, but I think you need a really smoky bacon. I tried it once with the Niman bacon and was pretty underwhelmed.” “You want bacon? I can get you bacon! I cure and smoke my own!”
A bit later, one night when I got home, there was a canning jar full of Fat Rendered from Cured Pork Belly and a Meyer Lemon sitting on our steps.
Obviously, I needed to revisit fat washing!
Keeping mind that he had said he really liked Rye Whiskey, I decided to forgo the usual Bourbon/Bacon axis and go with Wild Turkey Rye instead. I followed the P.D.T. instructions, adding a generous ounce of hot pork fat to the rye, infusing for a few hours, then freezing to separate. I also embellished, in my usual free association manner, adding a teaspoon of toasted caraway seeds to the Rye. As I was tasting the final product, I was pretty sure that all I was tasting was pork, no smoke. Interesting and very, very porky.
I brought the pork fat washed rye in to the most recent Savoy Cocktail Book night, where opinions varied. Generally, the opinions were split between, “I can’t even think of drinking that,” and, “This is wrong, but I can’t stop drinking it.”
Amusingly, Daniel Hyatt had been making drinks for a Cochon 555 Event in Napa that day, so for him, it was a little beyond the pale. “I’ve just had 10 plates of pork, and man, is this whiskey porky.” He did finish the glass, I believe, despite it probably not being in his best interest. Anyway, as we were chatting about what to do with the pork fat washed rye and he mentioned cutting it with Calvados to temper some of the pork-i-ness.
Letting that percolate for a couple days, I decided to give it a try in a Sazerac mixed with Calvados. But Calvados reminded me of Jennifer Colliau’s experiments with “Orchard Syrup“. I’d always meant to give an Orchard Syrup a try, so figured: Pork. Caraway. Apples. Why the Hell Not?
*Tiny Orchard Syrup
1 cup Apple Cider
1/8 Cup Natural Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Caraway Seed
Reduce to 1/4 Cup and strain out spices.
Huh, that orchard syrup IS really tasty, I’d pour it over ice cream, no problem. Nice viscosity, too. Pectins?
Anyway, should you dare drink a Piggerac, I hope you are imagining a perfectly browned whole suckling pig, apple in its mouth, crisp skin crackling as you cut, unctuous fat oozing through your fingers. Lift the haunch to your mouth. Go on, take a bite. You know you want to.
This post is one in a series documenting my ongoing effort to make all of the cocktails in the Savoy Cocktail Book, starting at the first, Abbey, and ending at the last, Zed.