"Bacon Bourbon at August" by Chef Shane Zimmerman
Another one of the highlights for me in New Orleans was NOLA’s own John Besh and his award-winning Restaurant August. A James Beard Award Winner, John Besh has won both critics and diners over with his upscale takes on New Orleans classics, and his best selling cookbook, My New Orleans: The Cookbook.
Besides the flat-out amazing meal, one of the highlights for me was surprisingly not on the dinner menu, rather the drink menu. I am a huge bourbon fan, although not quite a connoisseur yet. But one of the house-infused bourbons really tickled my fancy. The drink consisted of a rosemary and apple-infused bourbon served with a piece of pralined bacon. In one word, spectacular. Now, in my relatively short drinking career, I’ve had Manhattans, old fashioneds and artsy bourbon infusions before, but this was truly something special. The surprising subtle rosemary and apple perfectly complimented the bourbon’s oak notes. And the praline bacon slice was the perfect garnish, as bacon fat, plus caramelized sugar plus bourbon equals true greatness in my opinion. It was served either on the rocks or neat, and I chose on the rocks. For those who don’t know the term ‘neat’, it refers to the spirit being served as is, no ice, no mixers, just alcohol and a glass. So the next time you’re in New Orleans at Restaurant August’s bar, sit down, have a glass a bourbon, and Santé!