Spiked Cheeseburgers

It was a happy, happy day last week, because for the first time since this long, hard, relentless winter started one billion years ago, it was actually warm enough to crank up the old grill and cook some cheeseburgers.  The Southern husband was happy.  The teenager was happy.  The dog was deliriously happy, because she is convinced that if she waits long enough, one day someone is going to grill her a cheeseburger instead of just dumping another cup of kibble into her dish.  A dog can dream…

Anyway.  This momentous occasion seemed to call for something other than your normal wonderful cheeseburger.  Something adventurous.  Something celebratory.  Something involving a little, well, alcohol.  Take another look at that picture up top…see that scrumptious sauce oozing down the burger?  Let’s just say that is special sauce.  Very special.  As in, contains just the right hit of vodka in it.

Still with me?  Here’s what happens:  you mix up some ketchup, some mayo, a little mustard, and a little roasted garlic.  And then you add…wait for it…about 4-5 tablespoons of vodka.  (If you are a responsible parent like me, you hold back some of the sauce in a separate dish for your underage teenager.  More spiked-ness for the old folks).

Now grill up those burgers however you like ’em, and don’t forget to toast the buns.  (Note: you can definitely add in the cheese the way you usually do, but I like to take the top bun after it is toasted, lay the cheese on it and nuke it for about 20 seconds, so the cheese is adhering to the bun and not the burger.  But you be you, cheese-wise.)   When that’s all done, toss a few pickles on the bottom of the bun, lay the burger on them, and put a generous amount of sauce on top.  This is not the time to be stingy with the sauce.  Top bun over the whole thing, and dig in.  Be very happy.  Happier than a cheeseburger usually makes you.   Happy.

Recipe adapted from Marc Murphy’s recipe


Spiked Cheeseburgers
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1½ tps roasted garlic
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • 5 tablespoons vodka
  • 2½/ pounds ground beef
  • 6 hamburger rolls
  • 6 slices cheddar cheese
  • sliced pickles
  1. Mix mayo, mustard, garlic, ketchup and vodka together and mix well. Set aside.
  2. Form beef into 6 patties and salt and pepper them. Grill to your liking, adding cheese at the last minute to melt. Toast the rolls during the last minutes of grilling.
  3. Place several pickles on the bottom of each roll, top with burger, and spread about 2 tablespoons of sauce on each burger.
  4. Place top of bun over all and serve at once.



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  1. Haha now that I've started studying for the medical boards, I think I need to also start sneaking alcohol into as made places as I can…for good measure. This special sauce sounds fantastic!

  2. If I ate hamburgers, I would definitely do this .. maybe I will try to sauce on a chicken sandwich :)
    Happy to hear that the endless winter has ended ..

  3. Hand to God, when I saw the title for this post I actually got excited that the booze would be IN the burger somehow :) But this is maybe better because you could use that sauce for other things, I'm sure :)

  4. OOOOOHH…I love special sauce. The next grilling extravaganza is going to include this sauce.

  5. Anonymous says:

    There's nothing wrong with giving the dog healthy people food. Their food is boring if you give them the same thing all the time. My dogs get a lot of good people food. They deserve the best!

  6. Anonymous says:

    This is just fantastic. Not only did I laugh out loud when I read your post, but your pictures had me drooling.

    We're breaking out the grill tonight – I'm so excited! My husband will love this whole vodka idea.

  7. Ron ~The Old Geezer says:

    Greetings from Southern California

    I am your newest follower
    I invite you to visit and follow my blog

    God Bless You :-)

  8. Mama.Mommy.Mom. says:

    Wow, those look yummy! I found your blog linked on the Pioneer Woman's site and I'm so happy to have found it!

  9. Spiked burger sauce – that sounds awesome!

  10. Patty H. says:

    Your burgers look awesome, and the sauce sounds delicious! Not quite grilling weather for me yet, but maybe by mid-week!

  11. Audrey Ellen says:

    Like a vodka pasta sauce on a burger! How creative!

    Also I am new to your blog and I have to say that your pictures are phenomenal! You have a way with capturing color.


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