Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

It’s the holidays, right? We still have time to sneak in a few indulgences? Good, just the excuse I need for these creamy garnet sweet potatoes splashed with smoky bourbon. Funny thing is, if you looked in our liquor cabinet, you would find all sorts of wonderful things to drink—vermouth, marsala, madeira, rum, calvados, JD, Maker’s Mark—yet nobody in our family actually drinks anything beyond an occasional glass of wine or beer. Or maybe a small glass of sherry or port. All those high octane bottles are for use in cooking, including the bourbon. I love the taste of bourbon, with its slightly smoky edge. But I’m a lightweight when it comes to alcohol, so only use it for flavoring something wonderful, like chocolate bourbon cake, a New Orleans bread pudding, or these sweet potatoes.

For those of you who avoid alcohol in cooking, I’m afraid this recipe is not for you. Obviously you can easily make the mashed sweet potatoes without the bourbon; it will be great, just add some nutmeg and cinnamon to spice it up a bit. I did experiment with reducing the alcohol content in this recipe by boiling the bourbon first, to accelerate the evaporation, but while the alcohol was reduced, so was the taste of the bourbon. So if you want the wonderful note that the bourbon provides, you’ll just have to add it as is.

Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes Recipe

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6-8 as a side dish.


  • 3 pounds garnet sweet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1 inch chunks
  • Salt
  • 3 to 4 Tbsp of bourbon whisky
  • 4 Tbsp butter (more or less to taste)
  • 4 Tbsp brown sugar (more or less to taste)
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract


bourbon-mashed-sweet-potatoes-1 bourbon-mashed-sweet-potatoes-2

1 Place the sweet potato chunks in a large (5 quart) pot, cover with water.  Add a tablespoon of salt to the water. Bring to a boil.  Cook until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes.


2 Drain the cooked sweet potatoes and return them to the pot on the stove. Lower the heat to low. Add the bourbon and the butter to the pot and stir. Add the brown sugar and vanilla extract and stir.  Mash with a potato masher until smooth.  Add more salt, bourbon, butter, and brown sugar to taste.

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Showing 4 of 21 Comments

  • Michele Garcia

    That’s mostly how we use the high octane stuff in our household too. We love sweet potatoes-sounds like its time to stock up on more bourbon!

  • Little Kitchie

    mmmm! Our liquor collection looks similar, but we only like wine and beer. But it’s nice to have all those for cooking, or for thirsty guests! :) I love the addition of bourbon in just about any recipe, and never thought about sweet potatoes before. These sound great, and YES I agree, there’s still time to indulge. :)

  • Sue

    Thank you for all of the wonderful recipes! Your site is always a no-fail option for something delicious. I’ve been making a version of this sweet potato dish for years, with the addition of chopped pecans liberally sprinkled over the top. Yum!

  • Junie

    Yum! My sister made a similar recipe for Christmas dinner – the other ingredient she added was a few tablespoons of strong coffee – really good.

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