Two weeks ago in Oakland, California I had a fabulous gluten-free dining experience. It went something like this:
My husband , myself and another couple were in Oakland to see Grace Potter and The Nocturnals at the Fox Theater (which was amazing, by the way). We had dinner reservations at Pican, a Southern inspired restaurant. I had mentioned that I was gluten-free when I made the reservation.
Our waiter, Trevor began the evening by asking which one of us was gluten-free.
“Me,” I replied, proudly.
“Gluten- intolerant or celiac?” Trevor asked, looking at me as if he really cared.
“Celiac.” I replied, practically giddy.
“I’m gluten intolerant.” He said, in a tone that made it clear he understood that I outranked him. Then he went on to say, “We are not a gluten-free kitchen, we do clean all surfaces and utensils when preparing gluten-free dishes, but there could be some cross-contamination.”
“You had me at ‘Celiac,’ I thought to myself, still taking in the conversation. In all my gluten-free years, I have never had an experience like this at a restaurant. He asked the others if they had any questions about the menu but it was really just an after thought.
We all proceeded to order drinks, The bourbons of Kentucky and Tennessee were well represented. I ordered the Pican Old Fashioned. An Old Fashion with a new twist. The twist involved bacon and maple syrup. I know what your thinking, but you’re wrong. George Dickle No. 8, bacon infused bourbon, is quite tasty it turns out. Trevor and I shared a joke or too regarding our love of bacon and thank God, it’s gluten-free.
My dinner was tasty. Dessert was the only disappointment. Buttermilk ice cream being the only GF option. I could tell Trevor was embarrassed by the situation. But I told him not to worry and ordered a coffee with alcohol in it. And a bowl of buttermilk ice cream.
Once home, I could not get Trevor or the bacon infused bourbon out of my head, and having never heard of George Dickle No. 8, I decided to google him. This is what I found in bold letters at the top of the website. If you only know Jack, you don’t know dickle. I searched the website for bacon infused Dickle No. 8 but there is no such thing. I would have to make it myself. It turns out there are hundreds of search results for how to infuse bourbon with bacon. What on earth did we do before the internet? The recipe follows, but I should warn you that, like sausage and laws, you may not want to know how it’s made.
- Cook a pound of bacon.
- Pour .33 cups of hot fat into a jar and fill the rest with bourbon George Dickle No. 8, or similar (They don’t specify the size of the jar, which seems important, but just use your best judgment on the bacon to bourbon ratio).
- Seal and let stand until the mixture reaches room temperature.
- Freeze for 24 hours. The fat will solidify. The bourbon will not.
- Pour off the bourbon and strain through a coffee filter or cheese cloth to remove any lose fat particles. (yum)
To make the Pican Old Fashion, mix bacon Bourbon with maple syrup, orange (not sure what kind as I just copied this from the Pican menu) cherries (the cherries appeared to be a darker version of the maraschino variety) and bitters. I have no idea what the proportions are but I’m pretty sure no one is going make this drink, so I’m not going to worry my pretty little head about it.)
In case you’re wondering who the three guys are:
- George Dickle
- Jack Daniels