The Bourbon Burger – An American Classic


So, my son-in-law, Patrick, and I were having a cocktail and he was wondering why we didn’t have the hamburger as an American classic on the website.  I said that I could never come up with anything interesting or unique to say about the ubiquitous “burger”.  He said maybe we needed to get alcohol involved in some way.  I had to agree.  After all, we had posted a great recipe called “Six-Pack Chicken” from another son-in-law, Andy.

Patrick decided that we needed to use good Bourbon whiskey – nothing more American than that.  He found some Bourbon sauces on the web, but that wasn’t exactly it.  We wanted the Bourbon taste in the meat itself.  We decided to experiment and hit a home run on the first try.  We started with my wife’s yummy burger recipe and added the crowning touch – onions sautéed in butter and Bourbon.

It is extremely important to test the Bourbon beforehand to make sure it is good.  Patrick was very adept at this.


The key to this recipe is to sauté the onions in butter and Bourbon before adding to the ground beef.  Butter is a great flavor carrier; it absorbs the Bourbon flavors and coats the onions.  Once we added this magical mixture to the meat, we knew that we really had something to talk about.


Time Required:  20 minutes prep, 10 minutes grilling

Degree of difficulty: 3.0 out of 10 (unless there is too much sampling of the Bourbon)

Servings:  6-8 burgers


  • 2 lbs. lean ground beef
  • 2 eggs
  • ½  cup of pankco bread crumbs
  • 2 tbsp. Worchestershire Sauce
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 cup of red onion, finely diced
  • 2 jiggers of good Bourbon
  • 2 tbsp. butter

This recipe is perfectly scalable.   If you have five pounds of ground beef, do your math and the results will be great.


1.  Mix the ground beef, eggs, bread crumbs, Worchestershire Sauce, salt and pepper in a large bowl.

2.  Sauté the onion in the butter over medium heat for 3 minutes.

3.  Taste the Bourbon to make sure it is good.

4.  Add the Bourbon to the onions and butter, turn the heat down and cook for another 3 minutes.  Turn the heat off and let everything sit for 5 minutes.

5.  Add the onion/Bourbon mixture to the ground beef and mix well.

6.  Prepare patties in the size you wish – I suggest slider size – and grill for 4-5 minutes on each side.  Serve on a toasted bun without condiments.  These burgers need absolutely nothing.

Categories: Classic American Dishes, Classic Beef/Lamb Dishes, Classic Grilling Recipes

3 replies

  1. Hi Bill, sounds awesome Ill give it a try this weekend. My Dad was friends with President of Makers Mark for years and sold them all the oak for their barrels. Guess they made their own barrels back then.

    Best regards,

    Roland Johnson Cell: 817-729-8119


  2. I approve…of course

  3. great idea and so alliterative

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