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Bourbon Gravy

Bourbon Gravy- put a new spin on turkey gravy by adding a little bourbon. Bourbon enhances the other flavors and adds a slight oaky, caramel flavor.

Bourbon Gravy in a gravy boat.

Don’t succumb to making gravy from a packet this year. This from-scratch bourbon gravy is so easy.

Gravy is the first thing we always run out of on Thanksgiving. I could make buckets of it and it would still all be eaten. The turkey needs a heavy dousing in gravy, the mashed potatoes need to be drowning, and of course the dressing needs some gravy.

Gravy in a saucepan.

What You’ll Need For Bourbon Gravy

  • Butter
  • Onion– either yellow, white, or sweet.
  • All-Purpose Flour– acts as a thickener.
  • 2 cups Turkey Drippings– these are the pan drippings when you roast or slow cook your turkey. Pour them into a fat separator, if you have one, and discard the fat. If you don’t have a fat separator, spoon the fat off the top the best you can.
  • Bourbon– use any brand of bourbon. I typically use Makers Mark or Four Roses.
  • Heavy Cream– adds a little richness and a slight creaminess to the gravy.
  • Fresh Thyme or Rosemary– brighten up the flavor with some fresh herbs. Can use dried instead but you will want to use less.


The flavor of the bourbon is not strong. It just adds a subtle flavor to the gravy. And don’t worry about the alcohol content. Most of it cooks off and it’s only a small amount anyway.

Gravy in a gravy boat and a bottle of bourbon.

How To Make Bourbon Gravy

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan. Cook the onion until soft.
  2. Sprinkle on the flour. Cook and stir for 1 minute. This is nessecary to get rid of the raw flour flavor.
  3. Gradually stir in the turkey drippings. Simmer for a few minutes.
  4. Add the bourbon, heavy cream and herbs. Simmer a few more minutes.
  5. Check for seasoning and add salt and pepper to taste.

What If I Don’t Have Enough Turkey Drippings?

If you don’t have enough turkey drippings, use some canned chicken broth or stock.

Recipe Tip

Be sure to pour the turkey drippings through a fine-meshed strainer before adding to the gravy. You want to get rid of any solid pieces.

Turkey Recipes

Bourbon Gravy in a gravy boat.

Round Out Your Turkey Dinner With These Recipes

Bourbon Gravy

Bourbon Gravy- put a new spin on turkey gravy by adding a little bourbon. Bourbon enhances the other flavors and adds a slight oaky, caramel flavor.


  • ¼ cup butter
  • ¼ cup finely diced onion
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups turkey drippings
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 tablespoons heavy cream
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme or rosemary
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add onion and cook until soft, about 5 minutes.
  • Sprinkle flour over onion and cook and stir for 1 to 2 minutes.
  • Gradually whisk in turkey drippings. Simmer, whisking frequently, for about 2 minutes. If it gets too thick, add some chicken broth.
  • Stir in remaining ingredients. Simmer 1 to 2 minutes.
    Season to taste with salt and pepper.


If you don’t have a full 2 cups of turkey drippings, make up the difference with chicken stock or broth.
Nutritional info is provided as an estimate only and will vary based on brands of products used.


Calories: 123kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.3g | Cholesterol: 28mg | Sodium: 353mg | Potassium: 37mg | Fiber: 0.3g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 312IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Southern
Keyword: bourbon, gravy, Thanksgiving

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