Alcohol in mashed potatoes? That’s a hard no.

Why ruin mashed potatoes by adding vodka, beer, or bourbon?

The simple question threw me for a loop. Is it OK to put alcohol in white mashed potatoes?

You can mix anything with anything, and chances are you’ll get nothing good. It’s like when you were a bored teenager at home alone and decided to experiment with different foods you found in the fridge.

Mashed potatoes don’t need to be infused with alcohol to taste good. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

How did that frozen green bean and spaghetti sauce sandwich turn out? The math shows us that anything + anything = nothing good.

That simple equation shows that alcohol and mashed potatoes don’t go together. That combination mixes as badly as baked beans and mayonnaise. It tastes as bad as kissing someone who’s just had a hunk of Limburger cheese. An alcohol-mashed potato combo is as mismatched as Paula Deen giving the keynote speech at an NAACP convention.

Yet, you can find recipes for anything. People do use vodka and beer in mashed potatoes. I’m sure someone has tried bourbon. My niece loves Moscato wine, and pairing that with mashed potatoes would be like pairing nudists with a modesty convention.

No. Just no.

Anytime you cook with alcohol, much of it burns off because alcohol molecules dissipate when they boil. But the flavor stays behind. Bourbon, for example, makes an excellent flavoring in compotes, fruit fillings for pies, and flambéed desserts like Bananas Foster. That little hint of the standard bourbon flavors — caramel, vanilla, maple — complements those dishes.

And in those dishes, the alcohol burns off. With mashed potatoes, you boil, mash, and add in your wet ingredients. You’re melting butter and stirring in milk and/or sour cream to get the desired consistency.

Rosemary makes a great addition to mashed potatoes. Alcohol isn’t as good as a loving agent. (Photo: Adobe Stock)

Dumping gin, vodka, or beer in potatoes seems to be a waste of good booze.

The alcohol will take away from the other flavors that should dominate — especially the butter — and will likely interfere with the other foods you’re eating. For example, meatloaf can be topped with tomatoey ketchup or a tangy barbecue sauce that contains apple cider. The sauce’s richness and the creaminess of butter create a flavor party that alcohol shouldn’t be invited to.

You can add fresh herbs to mashed potatoes, like tarragon, rosemary, or dill. Fresh, raw garlic will have a pungent flavor, but roasted garlic will become caramelized and sweet. Or possibly layer your mashed potatoes with broccoli, bacon, and cheese, like a deconstructed baked potato.

You can even use the dreaded brown, thick, gloppy, glue-like gravy that can inexplicably find its way to the table. You can use it, but do yourself a favor. Don’t.

You can add so many flavors to potatoes if you want, but they’re best served with few additions.

They are also best served without using alcohol in any form. If someone raves about a new TikTok recipe using tequila, politely shake your head while you think, “No child, that’s crazy.”

Because it is.

And remember the math:

Anything + anything = nothing good.

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