The Boozy Twist You Should Try For Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes offer a neutral canvas that can be adapted to fit any flavor profile you'd like. Cheesy mashed potatoes — like the French dish, aligot – are one beloved spin on the classic, while garlicky, sour-cream-laced renditions are also a favorite. If you're feeling fancy, you can even make an ultra-luxurious version of mashed potatoes by adding cooked lobster meat or another decadent topping.

However, if you're looking for an unexpected twist on mashed potatoes that goes beyond the typical variations, you should consider heading to your liquor cabinet. That's right: You can use alcohol — and bourbon in particular — to take your mashed potato recipe to the next level.

The addition of bourbon to mashed potatoes is most commonly seen in recipes for mashed sweet potatoes. This recipe from the Food Network, for example, incorporates two tablespoons of bourbon to give the dish some extra oomph. Along with bourbon, these mashed sweet potatoes also contain molasses, butter, cayenne pepper, and a sprinkle of brown sugar on top.

Can you add bourbon to regular mashed potatoes?

While bourbon is most frequently seen in recipes for mashed sweet potatoes, it can definitely be used to enhance a more traditional style of mashed potatoes — especially when the dish includes other ingredients that pair well with bourbon. In a recipe on its site, Texas-based bourbon producer Garrison Brothers Distillery recommends making mashed potatoes with a bourbon-infused mixture of butter and cream. The potatoes are then combined with crumbled crispy bacon and minced garlic to round out the flavor profile.

If you want to try this boozy mashed potato trick but don't have any bourbon, you're in luck: You can make mashed potatoes that get their boost from another type of alcohol. A few years back, Today published a recipe that includes ingredients similar to Garrison Brothers' version, such as crumbled bacon and garlic. However, instead of bourbon, you'll use a quarter cup of gin. Beer can also complement mashed potatoes, as this recipe from Craft Beering – which makes use of creamy Yukon Golds — proves.