Cozy Up

Mills Tavern pours up the perfect crisp-weather cocktail

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There is a nugget of wisdom that floats around certain kitchens: “Everything is better with bacon.” This concept isn’t exactly kosher, but if you already love a crispy slice of pork, you’ll find that it complements an incredible range of food – and drinks.

Case in point: The USUAL, a mid-winter cocktail devised by Mills Tavern. This particular spin on the Manhattan is routinely on the Mills menu, but its inventive inclusion of maple syrup and maple bacon adds a sweet-and-savory flavor to the cold-weather feasting.

What really makes The USUAL a special treat is its bacon-washed bourbon, where eight strips are simmered in a bottle of the hard stuff for about 15 minutes. If you’re feeling daring in your own kitchen, you can combine three ounces of bourbon with an ounce-and-a-half of Dolin Sweet Vermouth and two dashes of Angostura Bitters. The teaspoon of syrup is optional, but if you decide to add it in, make sure it’s real maple. No Log Cabin for this masterpiece.