Several years ago, an Iowa whiskey distiller tried to raise pigs that tasted like whiskey. With the help of a swine nutrition expert, he devised a carefully crafted diet for the pigs made up of spent grain from the leftover mash from the whiskey-making process, corn and soybeans. The consensus among those who sampled mash-fed pork, according to a Popular Mechanics news story? It was very good, but not whiskey-flavored. Popular Mechanics offers a surefire way to create the inverse: Pour one ounce of rendered bacon fat into a glass jar with whiskey, freeze it overnight, strain and you’ve got bacon-infused whiskey.
Now that we’ve crossed those big ideas off our list, here’s the simplest way to marry the joy of smooth sippin’ whiskey and pork delicacies: Buy a ticket (or three) to Arkansas Times Pig & Swig. Presented by Saracen Casino, our annual event returns from 6-9 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 19, at the River Market Pavilions. Tickets are $25. Buy them at centralarkansastickets.com.
Here’s what that ticket gets you: high-end whiskey samples from Knob Creek and pork bites from the restaurants of Saracen Casino Resort, Bar Louie in North Little Rock, Table 28, Smoke Beast BBQ, Sims Bar-B-Que, Whole Hog Cafe in North Little Rock, Flint’s Just Like Mom’s, Dickey’s BBQ, Library Kitchen & Lounge, Nubbies Nibblers, Brick and Forge of Conway and Fassler Hall. There will also be music from Yadaloo Music and Arts Festival and a photo booth sponsored by Colonial Wines & Spirits. The after-party goes down at The Library Kitchen & Lounge. The event is only open to those 21 and older.