Thursday, November 8, 2012

Friday Night Bites | Bourbon Cocktail Meatballs

Hubby LOVES a great cocktail meatball!  If he could enjoy these little nuggets of joy everyday, I am sure he would.  Recently on Pinterest, one of my social media addictions (smile), I came across this recipe and immediately pinned to make and share on my weekly series – Friday Night Bites. I essentially doubled the sauce recipe, altered a few measurements and added a bit of garlic powder.

We had plans last weekend to get together with one of our neighbors for wine and appetizers.  This gathering had been completely overdue.  With exceedingly busy lives, it seems more challenging to set aside time to simply enjoy getting together with friends and get a mutually convenient date on the calendar.  Last weekend was that weekend – we made it work – yeah!

We enjoyed a mini progressive wine and appetizer get together.  Hubby and I started over at our neighbor’s house to enjoy a lovely bottle of Riesling from Germany along with a beautiful spread of tasty appetizers.  The final stop in this mini progressive appetizer dinner was our house.  We joked by asking each other, “Who was going to drive to the next house?” If you know me, I never want my guests to go hungry, so of course I cooked up a feast of appetizers.

The Bourbon Cocktail Meatballs were the hands down favorite.  They could not be simpler to make.  I served a 2009 Sonoma Valley ‘Montecillo’ Cabernet Sauvignon from Keating Wines. This wine has dark fruit that was prominent on both the palate and nose, along with hints of cedar and a smoky edge and was perfectly balanced.  I picked up three bottles on my last trip to Sonoma. In my opinion, this is a hidden gem of a winery in Sonoma and well worth a visit!

Bourbon Cocktail Meatballs

1 Pound Frozen Meatballs (I used the party meatballs from Trader Joe’s)
1 Cup Ketchup
1 Cup Brown Sugar
½ Cup Bourbon Whiskey
2 Teaspoon Fresh Lemon Juice
2 Teaspoon Worcestershire Sauce
¼ Teaspoon Garlic Powder

In a medium sauce pan, combine all of the ingredients except the meatballs.  Mix until well combined.

Place the frozen meatballs into the sauce and combine.  Let cook on medium heat until slightly bubbly.  Reduce the heat to low and simmer for at least one hour.  Serve with toothpicks or small cocktail forks.


  1. These meatballs look wonderful, you can't go wrong when there's bourbon involved! ;)

  2. SO glad you finally got together with your neighbors. I have several that we are all struggling to make the timing work! I bet if these meatballs were on the menu, we would have no problem scheduling :) Hmmm.

    Seriously though, these look SO good. Will try it soon! xo

  3. Hmmm, first thai meatball, now bourbon meatballs? Two very different meatballs from opposite sides of the world, but equally delicious, I bet!

  4. These meatballs look great, and I'm sure the bourbon just makes them over the top good!

  5. I've said it before, but I'm saying it again - LOVE your Friday Night Bite series!!! I just happen to have a bottle of bourbon available!

  6. Sounds like a fun evening Lisa! I have to say these are the prettiest meatballs I've ever seen, oh except maybe the Thai meatballs you made last week,lol! You're on a roll here...I also like these for one of my tailgate parties- you guys should come out to one of the home games ;-)

  7. You could have stopped at the word Bourbon and I'd already be interested! :D These meatballs look spectacular! Love your wine reviews too.

  8. Those meatballs look so saucy and good. I'm sure they were the favorite who could resist. What a great neighbor you are to have :).

  9. You know I am a big fan of meatballs - what a great glaze on them, so good! A progressive appetizer dinner with friends sounds like a lot of fun!

  10. I so want to attend a party at your house! These are perfect for a get together, and love the flavors!

  11. Hi Lisa,
    Your Bourbon Cocktail Meatballs looks tasty
    You can submit your Bourbon Cocktail Meatballs pics on It is a food photography site where members can submit all food pictures that make readers hungry :)
    I am already hungry to see these photos btw, LOL

  12. That sauce looks mighty yummy! Great idea to use frozen meatballs for a quick app for a party:)

  13. Lisa,

    How many meatballs (approximately) does the pound make. I am having a party Saturday night with mashed potato martini bar and I wanted to serve these for the meat. Did you design this recipe yourself? I would like to feature it in a book I am writing.

    1. Hello Kim - thank you for stopping by! I bought the frozen party meatballs from Trader Joes and there are about 40 per bag and the bag is just a bit over one pound. I found the recipe on Pinterest as I noted in my post - you can see the link. Smile. I did double the sauce and added garlic powder. Good luck on your book!!!

  14. I thought I've already given you my praise for these meatballs. I think these just solved my appetizer dilemma. I'd forgotten about those TJs frozen meatballs but now I will have to pick up a few bags. I've been asked to bring appetizers to a party and this will definitely be one of them. Looks so good! :)

  15. Made these last night for our family cookie making gathering and they are BY FAR THE BEST cocktail meatballs I've ever made - everyone was nuts for them!! Myy search is over - this recipe is a keeper!! Thank you!!!

  16. Thought you should know I make these every year, and its ALWAYS A HIT!!! This recipe is wonder! And that added touch of garlic flavor is just perfect! Thank you.

  17. instead of brown sugar I added grope or blackberry jam. OMG!!!


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