I got the idea of jerky infused white whiskey from the Ranger Creek folks at this years San Antonio Cocktail Conference. My original intent was to use it to make Bloody Mary’s. However, I found that the tomato overwhelmed the jerky flavor. More importantly, I started out making a huge mistake which resulted in me pouring half a bottle of Ranger Creek .36 White down the drain. More on that below,* but for now, on with the cocktail.
Ranger Creek’s .36 White Whiskey is their ‘White Dog,’ or unaged bourbon. It is slightly sweet and a bit grainy with a hint of fruit. It also has the ‘bite’ of white whiskey. As a base spirit for infusing, it brings it’s own flavor profile and is an interesting substitute for vodka or grain alcohol. For the infusion, I used my own beef jerky which is flavored with soy sauce, brown sugar, hot sauce, Pick-a-Pepper Sauce, crushed red peppers, cayenne and liquid smoke*. I let the jerky and whiskey steep for 2 weeks, tasting daily. Here are the recipes:
For the Infusion
- 375 ml Ranger Creek’s .36 White Whiskey**
- 20 grams Beef Jerky – without added nitrites
- Combine ingredients in a mason jar, seal and allow to sit at room temperature
- Shake daily
- After 2 or 3 days, begin tasting daily until flavors are fully developed: 7-14 days
- When the infusion is ready, loosen the mason jar lid and set the jar upright in your freezer overnight.
- Freeze a metal coffee filter for at least 2 hours
- Place frozen coffee filter inside a paper coffee filter over a funnel and filter the whiskey into a measuring cup. The metal filter will catch the larger bits and the paper will filter the rest. This will remove the frozen fat. If you use a warm filter, the fat will melt and pass through the filter.
- If there is still fat floating on your whiskey, repeat steps 4-6.
Jerky Infused Coffee Pecan Old Fashioned
This is a complex cocktail. The nose is pecan, caramel and coffee – like your Mom’s kitchen on Sunday morning when she had pecan rolls in the oven and coffee brewing on the counter. So your nose prepares your tongue for something sweet. Wrong! The first taste is a combination of jerky, pecan and bitter chocolate with the whiskey in the background. Then it’s coffee and finishes with the whiskey and spices of the jerky. Nothing sweet about this cocktail. I used my own Coffee Pecan Bitters but you can buy various brands at better liquor stores. You want to use enough bitters to add flavor and just balance the bitterness with the agave. The jerky infused white whiskey does not do well with sweet.
- 1 1/2 oz. Beef Jerky infused White Whiskey
- 2-3 dashes Coffee Pecan Bitters
- 1-2 dashes Agave syrup
- Lemon Peel for garnish
- Combine all ingredients, except the garnish in a room temperature single old fashioned glass and stir to combine and to dissolve the agave.
- Carefully drop in a single large ice cube
- Express the lemon peel over the drink and drop it in.
This recipe creates a fairly spicy jerky. If you want to cut the heat, drop the crushed red pepper and chose a mild Louisiana style hot sauce. You can dry this in a dehydrator or in your oven. If using an oven, set a half sheet pan on the lowest rack to catch drips and then lay out the jerky strips directly on racks set above. Four pounds will require 2-3 racks.
- 4 lbs. Beef Bottom Round cut into thin strips
- 3 Tbl. Soy Sauce (Not low sodium)
- 1 Tbl. Louisiana, or similar, hot sauce
- 1 Tbl Pick A Pepper Sauce
- 1/2 Tbl Brown Sugar
- 1 Tbl Crushed Red Pepper
- 1 Tbl. Cayenne
- 1 Tbl Liquid Smoke
- In a mixing bowl large enough to hold the meat, combine all of the ingredients except the beef. Stir well and begin adding the beef mixing as you go. Be sure all of the beef is as well covered as possible.
- Cover tightly and let sit on the counter for 30 min or up to overnight in the refrigerator.
- Spread the strips on your dehydrator trays or oven racks.
- Dry overnight at 125° F for the dehydrator or 150° F for your oven.
- Store jerky in a loosely covered container to allow air circulation.
- I have no idea how long it will keep. It is always gone in less than a week!
*I did not find organic beef jerky at the store. The organic, ‘uncured’ varieties were venison, turkey and salmon. So I used a decent brand of beef jerky. Unfortunately, the whiskey was very efficient at extracting the sodium nitrites, or ‘pink salt’, used to preserve the jerky. The result was a predominant metallic taste. The infused whiskey was irretrievable. So, either use your own homemade jerky or buy a brand that has no added nitrites.
**Doc Elliott’s Mixology receives no compensation for brands mentioned.