Food Pairing Friday: Bacon Fried Quinoa and Privateer (Rum) Old Fashioned

by Emily on September 9, 2011 · 4 comments

in Booze Without Borders,Food,Recipes

Sometimes, you accidentally stumble onto a bit of genius in the kitchen. My significant other was under the weather last week, so he ordered Thai soup to clear him up. It came with the obligatory take-out container of white rice, which I just lobbed into the fridge since I don't eat rice at home. The next day for breakfast, he wanted to do something with the nice bacon he'd picked up at Brooklyn Victory Garden, so I suggested bacon fried rice. He was super excited about the idea. I was less so, but I remembered that I had some cooked quinoa hanging out in the fridge so I made a separate pan for myself with the quinoa. OUTSTANDING. I got to feel guilty about eating bacon fried something for breakfast but not too guilty since quinoa is the world's best food (in my opinion). This would be a great and fast dish to whip up as part of a casual weekend brunch. And brunch means cocktails! Rum and bacon are BFFs, so we have a manly drink to go with a manly bacon breakfast (or brunch!). Hope you enjoy these original recipes.


I'm happy to share this series of fantastic cocktail recipes from some of the best bars in NYC with you thanks to Contemporary Cocktails. Mix these libations up at home and tell us if you like them. Put your own special twist on it to make the pairing your own. Cheers!


The Cocktail

Privateer Old Fashioned Willie Shine, Contemporary Cocktails INGREDIENTS:
  • 2 oz Appleton Estate Reserve
  • .25 oz Maple syrup (grade A or B)
  • .50 Bar spoon all spice dram
Garnish: Long orange peel & lemon peel Ice: 2”x 2” large format cube Glass: Double Old Fashioned DIRECTIONS:
  • Add all ingredients into a double old-fashioned glass by order of the ingredients.
  • Gently add the cube and trim if necessary.
  • Stir thoroughly in the glass and garnish with the oil of lemon and orange.
  • Place the long peels around the cube and cross them as the stick out of the glass.
About this drink: As you may know, the Old Fashioned is a well-loved classic cocktail generally made with a brown spirit like whiskey or rye. It's also lovely with genever. Here, Contemporary Cocktails mixes it up a bit by marrying it with a lovely full-bodied rum. Appleton Reserve is available in most higher-end liquor stores. Fun fact: Did you know that the Old Fashioned is perhaps the first drink to be called a "cocktail." For more history on this fascinating tipple, check out this entertaining and informative read from DrinkBoy. Recommendation: If you can't find Appleton Estate Reserve Rum in your area, look for a medium- to full-bodied rum with hints of almonds and citrus. Do not use white or light rum, it won't work in this drink. As far as the allspice dram (also called pimento dram), it's not easy to get your hands on some if you can't get it shipped to you via the link above. If you're the adventurous type, you can try making your own. Here's a recipe, and we recommend you use Demerara rum when you make it. Finally, regarding the ice: Size matters. Large ice cubes means less melting, and that means your drinks won't get diluted.

The Food Pairing

Bacon-Fried Quinoa

  Bacon-Fried Quinoa Original Recipe by Mouth of the Border Serves 1 INGREDIENTS:
  • 2-3 strips bacon, diced
  • 1/4 c. white onion, diced
  • 2 Tbsp minced fresh ginger
  • 1 c. cooked quinoa
  • 1 egg
  • 1-2 green onions, white and light green parts diced
  • 1 c. raw spinach, chopped (optional)
  • 3-4 baby portabella mushrooms (optional)
  • salt + pepper to taste
  • soy sauce (optional)
  • Sautee bacon until just crisp. Toss in diced onion and ginger and saute until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes.
  • If using mushrooms, add to pan and sautee until soft.
  • Add cooked quinoa and saute until coated and thoroughly mixed.
  • If using spinach, toss on top of quinoa and stir until just barely wilted.
  • Crack egg in the center of pan and lightly scramble until egg white and yolk are incorporated evenly throughout mixture.
  • Transfer bacon-fried quinoa to bowl, and top with diced green onion.
  • Add salt and pepper, along with soy sauce, to taste.
  About this food pairing: Rum and bacon really rock together because they share two qualities: richness and a subtle smoky sweetness. And where there is bacon, there should be onion, mushrooms and spinach. But the great thing about this recipe is that, beyond the bacon, onions, egg and quinoa, you can really add anything else that you like. Look to other variations on fried rice and you'll get tons of great inspiration. Note: In my photo above of the main dish, I used turkey bacon (the grocer was out of good, hormone-free bacon). Don't do this. Use really good, fatty pork bacon. You deserve it. For step-by-step photos, check out the set on Flickr.


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  • Chrissa King

    That looks really good. 

    You know I’ve never had Quinoa? I only know how to pronounce it thanks to Nina. 

    I also love learning about your different cocktail pairings. It always points out to me that I don’t know shit about the drinky drink.

    • emilyspearl

      Well, you have to try this then Chrissa! They should have quinoa in the grain section at your local grocery. Just boxed up next to the rice and cous cous. Def let me know if you wind up making any of my recipes or suggested recipes at home!

  • Tracey Lander-Garrett

    Sounds delicious!  I’ve always wanted to make my own fried rice.  Now
    that you’ve added bacon to the mix, I’m going to have to!  I’m also
    intrigued by quinoa–I made a corn bread with quinoa and coconut milk
    instead of flour and dairy (recipe courtesy of my friend Stephanie) that
    I think you’d like.

    • emilyspearl

      Tracey – please send me the cornbread recipe. That sounds amazing!! And do let me know if you make this dish. It’s so easy and delicious.

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