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A Perfect Appetizer for Any Event: Savory Bourbon Meatballs

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A Perfect Appetizer for Any Event: Savory Bourbon Meatballs

Holiday season has begun, which means it’s the perfect time to test your skills as a holiday host!

No matter what kind of event you’re hosting, having great food is definitely a prerequisite to an unforgettable time. 

Whether it be birthdays, weddings, or corporate retreats, every special event can become an unforgettable experience! Although they all have their own unique personalities, all great events have one thing in common: fantastic food. Table & Thyme has spent a lot of thyme analyzing the perfect dishes to serve to all kinds of events, and some recipes definitely stand out as one-of-a-kind fan favorites. 

We love sharing some of these edible elements from past events in our blogs and through our grazing table gallery, but we can’t go giving away all of our secrets! However, we’ve recently come up with a recipe too good to keep to ourselves. This week, we’re exploring our own recipe for some indescribable bites that are the perfect appetizer for your holiday parties this year! 

What Makes These Meatballs So Special?

At first glance, it may appear that we’re featuring some traditional meatballs as a gourmet dish, but there is so much more here than meets the eye! This recipe features a range of flavorful ingredients such as vinegar, spicy brown mustard, sweet brown sugar, but most notably some delicious bourbon. For this recipe, we decided to try out a bourbon that is not new to Table & Thyme. In fact, we have partnered with Old Elk Bourbon on a number of recipes in the past, including Bourbon Chocolate Cake with Blackberry Buttercream, Butterscotch Bourbon Lava Cake, and Vanilla Custard with Bourbon-Caramel Sauce. Table & Thyme’s relationship to the Old Elk brand is one built on old friendship and a dedication to quality, which is why we love to incorporate the smooth and rich bourbon into recipes. If you’re interested, you can actually read more about how this relationship came to be in our blog, Old Friendships and New Beginnings: The Story Behind Our Old Elk Dessert Series! In the meantime, let’s explore how to make these savory, meaty morsels to impress your party guests! 

A Perfect Appetizer for Any Event: Savory Bourbon Meatballs


Of course, as with most things, quality is of the utmost importance. Having some quality ingredients is going to give you the best possible results, so for this recipe, we recommend a high-quality bourbon, well-sourced brown sugar, and for all of the ingredients to come from your beloved trusted brands. We also recommend opting for pre-shaped and pre-cooked turkey meatballs for a more lean (and effortless) option!

A Perfect Appetizer for Any Event: Savory Bourbon Meatballs


In a trusted skillet, combine your ingredients and whisk them lightly until they are evenly distributed. This will become a sauce that coats the meatballs, so do your best to avoid clumping, as it will turn your meatball appetizers into a gambling game for flavor. 

Once all of your ingredients are evenly mixed, bring the mixture to simmer over medium heat and let simmer for about five minutes. 

A Perfect Appetizer for Any Event: Savory Bourbon Meatballs


Letting your sauce bubble is going to give it the ability to stick to the meatballs and help them maintain their flavor without the sauce dripping off. Therefore, it is imperative to allow the sauce ample time to achieve that perfect texture! After you’ve let it cook, it is time to add the meatballs. Simply stir in the frozen meatballs and simmer in the sauce for another five minutes or so or until they are evenly cooked all the way through. 


A Perfect Appetizer for Any Event: Savory Bourbon Meatballs


And there you have it! In almost no time, you and your guests can be enjoying all of the delicious flavors this dish has to offer!


A Perfect Appetizer for Any Event: Savory Bourbon Meatballs

Savory Bourbon Meatballs

Sweet, savory, and hearty, these meatballs are guaranteed to be the highlight of any event! 


  • 1 pound of frozen, fully cooked meatballs
  • ¾ cup packed brown sugar
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • 2 teaspoons spicy brown mustard


  1. In a large skillet, whisk together ingredients (except meatballs). 
  2. Bring mixture to a simmer; cook 5 minutes. 
  3. Stir in frozen meatballs; simmer until heated through, about 5 minutes.
  4. Serve and enjoy!

We hope you enjoyed this simple and easy recipe for an incredible appetizer that is sure to wow every guest at your holiday events! If you happened to try it out, or you added your own personal twist to this recipe, we would love to know! Be sure to share it with us and tag us on social media, and in the meantime, gather some event inspiration from browsing our blog or our grazing table gallery!

For more information on Table and Thyme, contact them today! Follow us on our social media: Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest to see the other amazing events, lavishing grazing tables and beautiful graze boxes we have created.