At Cowboy Ciao, located in Scottsdale, Ariz., some guests are ordering their appetizer from the drink menu: the Meat & Potatoes Martini. Since placing the Martini on the menu, owner and beverage director Peter Kasperski says they have sold a few hundred of this unusual cocktail at $11 per drink. It’s made from Karlsson’s Gold vodka, Worcestershire sauce and bitters, and is finished with egg-washed, battered and deep-fried bacon. The vodka is potato based, and the bacon garnish adds the meat quotient.
“Karlsson’s Gold vodka inspired this cocktail,” Kasperski says. “It has a tactile impression and umami-like sense of deliciousness. There’s a sweetness to the vodka, so it’s a yin/yang, contrast/complement with the saltiness of the fried bacon.”
When an order for the cocktail is placed in the POS system, one ticket goes to the bar and another goes to the kitchen in order to deep fry a strip of bacon for the garnish. Kasperski admits it adds a minute or two to the wait for the consumer, but the guests don’t seem to mind.
The drink joins Cowboy Ciao’s already well-established 13-year-old brand, which is known for its beverage offerings, including a 2,500-bottle wine list, fresh cocktails and non-alcohol options like vintage sodas and bottled iced teas. As for the Meat & Potatoes Martini? It stays on the menu as long as it keeps selling.
“Say what you want about sex, bacon sells,” laughs Kasperski.