Meat-Flavored Cocktails Are On The Rise In 2024

If there's any upcoming cocktail trend that absolutely demands attention, it's the rise of drinks flavored with meat and cheese. In New York City alone, dozens of bars are now infusing drinks like martinis and sours with the flavors of bacon, duck fat, and even blue cheese. This obsession with savory mixed drinks has also appeared in other cities such as Denver and Pasadena. Unusual ingredients in cocktails are typically still on the sweeter side — or at least not powerfully savory — but meat-flavored cocktails are only projected to increase in popularity in the coming months.

Most often, meats are integrated into cocktails through a process called fat-washing. Similar to a regular infusion, fat-washing is a process by which alcohol dissolves the oil- and water-soluble compounds found in food — in this case, fatty meats like bacon. This introduces hints of flavor into your drink while barely affecting its texture. Perfume-makers commonly use this approach to get complex notes into the smell of their concoction, but mixologists only really began to employ this technique in the past decade, mostly at high-end food establishments to start.

Social media fuels the popularity of fat-washed drinks

Classic cocktails are out in 2024. Because visually stunning, complicated mixed drinks tend to trend on sites such as Instagram and TikTok, it makes sense that alcoholic beverages would begin to resemble popular foods such as BLT sandwiches or decadent s'mores. Drinks like the Hangover Bloody Mary utilize literal bacon and pork ribs as garnish while renowned tapas bars like Manhattan's Reyna's sell specialty drinks infused with duck fat. Many chefs in the fine dining industry have admitted that they have opened up rigorous social media accounts in order to draw the internet's attention and increase business. Skilled bartenders have no doubt taken notice of this phenomenon, and in turn, many have begun to ditch simple and classic cocktails for ones that resemble beef, poultry, or even seafood.

These umami drinks might put off everyday cocktail lovers, but alcohol does make for one of the best pairings with meat. Much like any other mixed drink, the flavors of these meat-infused cocktails can transport you to warm memories with the taste of your favorite protein dishes. If you live in a big city, your best chance at giving these drinks a try lies at the bar, but don't worry if you don't. Just render the fat out of your favorite cut of meat, whisk it into your liquor of choice, put it in the freezer overnight, and skim off the remains. Add to your favorite cocktail, and voila!