About a week before I came across the bacon bourbon recipe, the Pretty Little Wife and I went out for a Friday lunch at the Dallas Chop House – restaurant week rocks – and I ordered their Madagascar Manhattan. It’s pretty much a standard Manhattan made with vanilla-infused bourbon. It was excellent.
While I may not have been terribly pleased with the results of my bacon bourbon experiment, it did teach me that infusing bourbon with other flavors was a fairly straightforward process. I managed to pick up some vanilla beans at the local mega-mart and I settled on Maker’s Mark as my target bourbon since I thought its sweetness would go well with the vanilla.
I started by splitting three vanilla beans lengthwise and dropping them into a jar along with the entire 750 of Maker’s. I let this sit for two days, giving it an occasional shake. I then fished out the beans, scraped out the seeds, and returned the seeds to the jar while discarding the pods. After two more days with occasional shaking, I filtered the bourbon back into its original bottle.
It’s a little sweet to be drinking straight, but it is delicious and excellent in cocktails. I can’t wait until the holidays get here and I have the opportunity to try my eggnog recipe with Madagascar Maker’s.