Hungry? Me too, I could really use a sandwich. The “Sandwich Puzzle Box” by Massachusetts furniture maker Bill Sheckels inspired me to create this “BLT” cocktail. I wanted to make a bacon, lettuce and tomato cocktail which tastes good while retaining the essential flavors of the sandwich.

A hugely popular trend in mixology emerged about ten years ago called “fat washing”. It was started by Don Lee, a bartender at New York’s iconic PDT bar (Please Don’t Tell). Lee infused (“washed”) bourbon with bacon fat and created the famous “Benton’s Bacon Old Fashioned” which caused a sensation at the time. I made bacon-fat-washed bourbon for this BLT using Weller Special Reserve, a smooth wheated bourbon, for the “bread” and bacon aspects. I used an heirloom tomato syrup, which gives the drink a solid tomato flavor while avoiding the overpowering effects of actual tomato juice. The lettuce comes in as a bit of muddled arugula, which lends pepper spice too. Add some lemon juice, salt and pepper tincture, and a dash or two of celery bitters, and it’s lunch in a glass. Shake it all up and enjoy it with a fresh BLT on some Texas toast while trying to turn this puzzle box into an “open-faced” sandwich. Cheers!



2 oz bacon fat washed bourbon (such as Weller)

1 oz fresh lemon juice

1 oz heirloom tomato syrup

Dash of salt and pepper tinctures

2 dashes celery bitters

Pinch of baby arugula leaves

Gently muddle the arugula with the tomato syrup. Add the remaining ingredients and shake vigorously with ice. Double strain into a favorite glass over a large cube. Crumble crispy bacon over it for your very best friends.


For more about the "Sandwich" puzzle box and other fine cocktails see:

Boxes and Booze: Lunch Box