Okay, attempt number one at bourbon-infused popcorn.
I heard a bit on NPR a few weeks ago about a gourmet food show which included "artisanal" popcorn offerings. (And seriously? Can we just ban the word "artisanal" already?) But back to the topic at hand, in the course of the story, I heard a magical three words: Bourbon. Infused. Popcorn.
Not one to spend $12 on a few ounces of popcorn, I decided to try to make my own at home. The results were not as bourbon-ish as I was hoping, but definitely tasty.
I started with about 1/2 c. unpopped kernels and put them in a tiny jar with the last of a nip of Knob Creek, which was left over from an egg nog ice cream attempt back around Christmas. I probably had about 2 Tbs of bourbon, total, which wasn't enough to submerge all of the kernels. So, I turned the jar over periodically to distribute the bourbon as well as I could, while there was still excess liquid.
This probably sat around my kitchen for a couple of weeks. Another time, I would use a shallower dish, more bourbon, and also probably spread out the kernels to dry a bit after soaking for a shorter time, like overnight or so.
Anyway, I popped the popcorn as usual, with a generous drizzle of canola oil and about 1 tsp salt, in my Whirlypop, until the popping noises stopped. Meanwhile, I melted 1 Tbs unsalted butter in a small dish, about 30 seconds in the microwave.
Then, I transferred the popped popcorn to a muslin bag, drizzled in the butter, and sprinkled it with an additional pinch of salt (which I think was too much, I'll leave that out next time) and about 1 Tbs cinnamon-sugar, which is 2 parts sugar to 1 part ground cinnamon, and keeps indefinitely in a jar in the cupboard.
Like I said: not as bourbon-ish as I'd envisioned, but perfectly tasty popcorn. And I did get an occasional kernel that had a strong bourbon flavor.
Hmm, a work in progress ...