Travel takes me to the same place in the end; travel always takes me home. I keep my eyes open when I travel, just in case I see something on the road worth taking home with me.
Enter bacon bourbon. I came across a recipe for bacon bourbon while traveling across the USA last year. Then, this past spring, my girlfriend told me that we would be having company - one of her friends was from Kentucky, and she was feeling a bit homesick. I knew this was the perfect opportunity to play with something I picked up on the road.
I cooked a pound of applewood smoked bacon, poured the rendered fat into 2 liters of Kentucky bourbon, and let it sit for a week. I then skimmed the fat off the top, and poured the bourbon back into the bottle. To make the cocktail I added 1 part bacon bourbon to two parts spicy ginger ale, a dash of cayenne pepper, and ice. I garnished with a pork rind, and candied bacon - bacon I drizzled with Canadian maple syrup.
I passed out the cocktails, and got a thumbs up from our southern friend. One part mixology, one part travel, all parts fun. Just one of the lessons I've brought home from the road.