Recipe: The Pickled Pig

(Ricardo DeAratanha / Los Angeles Times)

Total time: 10 minutes, plus cooling and steeping times

Servings: 1

Note: From Eric Alperin. Hendrick’s gin is available at well-stocked liquor stores. Red wine vinegar varies in terms of acidity, which can affect the flavor of the final cocktail. Alperin uses Charbay Live red wine vinegar or Eden Selected raw naturally fermented red wine vinegar. To make bacon bits, fry a couple of bacon strips until crisp, then drain on paper towels. Crumble the strips into bits. This will make more bacon bits than are needed for a single cocktail.

Cucumber simple syrup

1 cucumber, peeled and chopped

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

Place the chopped cucumber in a heat-resistant bowl and set aside. Place the water and sugar in a small saucepan over medium heat, stirring until the sugar has dissolved, about 2 minutes. Pour the simple syrup into the bowl over the cucumbers. Cool the mixture, then strain. This makes about 1 cup syrup, which will keep for about 1 week, refrigerated.

Fatwashed gin

5 strips slow-cooked bacon

1 teaspoon tri-color peppercorns

1 (750-ml.) bottle Hendrick’s gin

Place the bacon and peppercorns in an open-mouthed container with the gin and set aside for 6 hours to allow the gin to steep. Remove and discard the bacon and peppercorns, then freeze the gin overnight. The next day, remove and discard the frozen “fat cap.” Store the gin in the freezer until needed.


Cocktail assembly

1/4 ounce red wine vinegar

1/4 ounce cucumber simple syrup

2 to 3 drops rose water

1 1/2 ounces fatwashed gin

Dried rose petal for garnish

Bacon bits for garnish

In a mixing glass with ice, stir in the vinegar, cucumber simple syrup, rose water and gin. Strain into a chilled coupe glass, garnish with a dried rose petal and place bacon bits in the center of the floating rose petal. Serve immediately.

Each serving: 110 calories; 0 protein; 3 grams carbohydrates; 0 fiber; 0 fat; 0 cholesterol; 0 sodium.