Bourbon and bacon

Tusk cocktail, The Grange

Illustration by Maria Ratinova

“Customers won’t let us take it off the menu,” a bartender at The Grange said when I ordered the Tusk ($14). Made with Buffalo Trace bourbon whiskey, maple-bacon vermouth and a slab of candy-coated bacon reminiscent of a tusk, the lore is that a local mixologist crafted the recipe while on a boar hunt. “Pig drink!” she declared, setting the concoction before me. “Manly!” I agreed. The first sip: pure bourbon. I could barely taste any trace of maple. Slowly … slowly the maple bacon dissolves, sweetening the brawny edges of alcohol into a truly candied cocktail. I sip until all that’s left is the trophy, which I eat with a salty, satisfying crunch. 926 J Street,