Bourbon Mashed Sweet Potatoes

Mashed sweet potatoes are great, but add a little bourbon and they become outright decadent! Make this easy side dish for Thanksgiving or a holiday party this year.

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 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


1 Boil the sweet potatoes until tender: 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.

Boiling sweet potatoes in pot mashed sweet potatoes boiling

2 Mash the sweet potatoes: 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.

bourbon mashed sweet potatoes

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  • Sonia

    sounds scrumptious can’t wait to make it

  • Stephanie

    Can this be made with cognac/ brandy instead?

  • chris

    Very good – thanks!


  • Bob @ Cooking with an Evolved Dad

    I made these last night as part of a Valentine’s Day dinner and they were the hit of the meal. Loved ’em!


  • SelinsgroveMama

    Yum!!! Just made these what a keeper! My DH was also drinking the bourbon so he just thought they tasted like “marshmallow potatoes” but I appreciated the intense flavor. Will make them again! Oh, and I used half-half instead of heavy cream.


  • Anna tappero

    Made this for a crowd of 50 (tripled the recipe.) By roasting the sweet potatoes, they are not so water logged and I was able to add some fat free half and half ( 1/4-1/2 cup) which added creaminess and very few calories. Delicious and a keeper.

  • Pink Tulips

    I smiled when I saw this…

    I prepared something very similar but used a Grade B Maple Syrup and ‘craisins’ along with the bourbon. We loved it!

  • FaeMao

    I’m going to have to try this with my favorite liquor…Jeremiah Weed 100 proof bourbon liquor. :)

  • mantha

    Diane T’s suggestion is beautiful — cooking the sweets in peach juice. That would take up the bourbon like old family.
    At half a tablespoon of bourbon per serving, with the good dollop of butter per person as well, there should not be any untoward effects.
    Happy New Year to all!

  • Diane T.

    Terrific suggestion to add bourbon! Recently made regular smashed yams for family while kitchen is in renovation, all in a crock pot. Peeled and diced yams cooked about 5 hours on high with peach juice and water. Alternately stirred and smashed until done. Convenient and easy clean up, with added bonus of being portable. Will be using this recipe next!

  • anissa

    My mother makes a similar dish with whisky instead of bourbon & it’s lovely. I’ll have to try this one. It looks great.

  • Susan

    The first time I tasted a pumpkin bread pudding with bourbon in it I fell in love with the combo. I’ve since added it to sweet potatoes and butternut squash casseroles. So good!

  • Lee

    I’ve been making bourbon smashed sweet potatoes for years. Down here, south of the Mason-Dixon line, they are a staple. For those who don’t want to cook with the alcohol, remove the sweet stuff and use grated Gruyere, a bit of fresh sage, and cream. Yummy!

  • Carolyn

    Loved your post, I too have been making a version of this recipe for years. My feeling is that everything tastes a little better with a little Jack in it especially sweet potatoes. Now I need to take a look at that divine looking bread pudding.

    Carolyn/A Southerner’s Notebook

  • Pixiesmith

    I make a similar dish with spiced rum (bourbon not being as popular in Canada) – guests always love it! Will try it with bourbon next!

  • 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.

  • 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!