A disclaimer: today's concoction is not for everyone. Serve it to friends with daring palates.
You probably know that bacon mania has swept North America (it even merits its own Wikipedia entry, a sure indicator of pop culture presence). Why? I don't know, but I love bacon so I'm not going to question this recent trend!
Some people feel it's played out, while others claim something so delicious as bacon can never be played out. Perhaps the two sides should sit down over a Bacon Manhattan and have a friendly debate...
Bacon Manhattan (a variation on Please Don't Tell's recipe)
Step One: Make bacon-infused bourbon
Place 2-3 strips cooked bacon strips into a mason jar. Fill with bourbon. Let the two get to know each other for at least 8 hours in the fridge, preferably more.
Step Two: Make big ice cubes (optional)
Regular-sized ice cubes melt too fast, thus diluting the bourbon. Horrors! I froze water in some Dixie cups and then peeled off the paper under a running tap of warm water. Use whatever's available to you for this step.
Step Three: Make bacon swizzle stick, as shown above (also optional)
Start this step at least an hour before you plan to serve the cocktails. You want the swizzle stick to be room temperature (not cold...cold bacon = ew) upon consumption. Wrap one piece of uncooked bacon around a wooden spoon handle, a set of chopsticks, or similar. Put the bacon and object on a paper towel, and then on a microwave safe plate. Nuke for 1:30, or until bacon is cooked. Don't overcook, or the bacon will shatter when you do the next part: Let it cool for just a bit, then carefully loosen the bacon from the object, retaining the cylindrical shape. It's easier than it sounds, I promise! Let it come to room tempurature on a clean paper towel.
Step Four: Make the cocktail (not optional)
Into a shaker full of ice, pour:
3 tsp maple syrup (Grade A dark amber recommended. This is not a time for Aunt J or Mrs B)
2 dashes bitters
2 oz infused bourbon
Shake, and pour over two big ice cubes in a rocks glass. Rub twist of orange on the rim. Garnish with bacon swizzle stick. Ponder the "it's played out/no it isn't" debate.