4th of July Burger with a Bang Whiskey Bacon Jam

4th of July Red, White and Blue Burger

Photos: Amaris Pollock

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Philadelphia, PAPhillyBite BBQ Burger 4th of July - On July 4th friends, families, and neighbors gather together each year to celebrate the birth of our nation.  And even though it’s always a great time, you know that people go back home and discuss who made what best. Why not rise above the ranks this year by making a burger that leaves a lasting impression.


For it you will need several ingredients, and if you want to skip making my Whiskey Bacon Jam, I will offer a short-cut to make things a little more simplified.  

For the Blueberry Coleslaw:

  • 1 Head of Green Cabbage (you only need ½, shredded)
  • 1 Head of Red Cabbage (you only need ½, shredded)
  • 2 Cups Shredded Carrots
  • 1 Cup Blueberries (for the sauce)
  • 3 Cups Blueberries (for the completed Blueberry Coleslaw)
  • 2 Tablespoons Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 2 Tablespoons Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Cups Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt
  • ¼ Teaspoons Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Mustard
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Chipotle Chilli Pepper
  • For the Whiskey Bacon Jam:
  • 1 Pound Bacon
  • 1 Tablespoon Bacon Fat (Reserve this after frying the bacon)
  • 1 Whole Yellow Onion (sliced)
  • 3 Small Garlic Cloves (roughly cut)
  • ½ Cup Cask & Crew Walnut Toffee Whiskey
  • ¼ Cup Brown Sugar
  • ¼ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Chipotle Chilli Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Salt
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • For the Burger with a Bang:
  • 1 Package of Ground Beef (1.06 pounds)
  • 1 Large Egg
  • 2 Tablespoons Pickled Onion Relish
  • 1 Tablespoon Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • ½ Teaspoon Salt
  • ½ Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
  • ¼ Teaspoon Ground Chipotle Chilli Pepper
  • 1 Large Tomato (cut slices thick)
  • 3 to 4 Slices of Havarti Cheese (thick cut)
  • 3 to 4 Burger Buns


As Promised, if you do not want to make the Whiskey Bacon Jam from scratch—you can use a short-cut and pick up a jar that is pre-made, and usually from a local farmer’s market.  However, I usually only see pre-jarred Bourbon Bacon Jams. Now for those of you who want to take that extra step, here are the directions:

To make my Whiskey Bacon Jam:

  1. Fry up the bacon over low heat until it is extra crispy, set that aside to cool for later use.
  2. Drain the fat into a ceramic mug. PLEASE USE CAUTION AS YOU CAN BURN YOURSELF.
  3. Add 1 Tablespoon of the bacon fat in the same pan you used to fry the bacon in.
  4. Place the onions and garlic in the pan and sauté until the onions are caramelized.
  5. Once the onions and garlic are caramelized, add in the salt, black pepper, and chipotle chili pepper and continue to sauté for 1 minute.
  6. Crush the Crispy Bacon so they are small pieces.
  7. Add in the Cask & Crew Whiskey, Apple Cider Vinegar, Crushed Crispy Bacon, and Brown Sugar and continue to sauté on low heat.
  8. After the liquids begin to reduce and thicken, remove from heat, and allow it to cool.
  9. Once it is cooled off, use a food processor and blend until the ingredients are in a spreadable consistency.

To Make my Blueberry Coleslaw:

  1. Rinse, drain, and remove the stems from the blueberries
  2. In a blender, add 1 cup of Blueberries, Apple Cider Vinegar, Granulated Sugar, and blend on high until all ingredients are liquified.
  3. Add in the Non-Fat Plain Greek Yogurt, salt, pepper, ground mustard, ground chipotle chili pepper and blend until all ingredients are incorporated—this is what I will refer to as the Blueberry Dressing.
  4. In an extra-large bowl, add together the shredded green and red cabbage, carrots, and 3 cups of Blueberries.
  5. Mix the Blueberry Dressing with the shredded cabbage, carrots, and whole blueberries until everything is coated.  Set aside for plating.

How to make and build the Burger with a Bang:

  1. In a medium-sized bowl, add the Ground Beef and all other ingredients together and mix.  I prefer to use my hands, so if you do, please make sure to wash your hands before and after handling the raw meat.
  2. Once the ingredients are all mixed together, make a large circle of the meat so you can section off equal portions.  I made 3 larger burgers, however, there is ample enough meat to make 4 burgers.
  3. Ball each burger portion into your palm, then place on a plate and flatten into a spherical size for each burger.
  4. In the middle of each burger, make a depression mark so that when the burger cooks, it will finish cooking with a flattened surface.
  5. Grill the burgers on both sides to the person’s preference; ie I usually like mine to be cooked medium-rare. When you flip the burger, add a slice of Havarti Cheese on top.  
  6. At the same time as you add the cheese, place the burger buns with the inside of the bun laying on the grill.
  7. Once the burgers are done cooking, carefully remove them and the buns from the grill and begin to build the Burger with a Bang.
  8. Liberally apply the Whiskey Bacon Jam on both the insides of the burger, lay the burger on top, then place a tomato slice on top of the cheese.
  9. Plate the Burger with a Bang, adding a cup or two of the Blueberry Coleslaw.

My Burger with a Bang is a sweet and savory burger with a mild spicy after kick. With all of the ingredients that I incorporated in it, it’s sure to please and maybe even surprise a few guests. Obviously I was making enough burgers for a smaller crowd, however, you can easily increase the portions if you have more mouths to feed.  

As for my Blueberry Coleslaw, the blueberries are carried throughout the entire tasting experience, with the mild heat from the chipotle chili peppers coming through at the end.  Both dishes are very tasty and together are made to celebrate a patriotic past time, with the colors of our flag all represented.



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