Bourbon Hot Dog Bites: A Shockingly Tasty Recipe from Dead to the Last Drop

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Whenever my husband and I make these babies, we cannot stop eating them. Seriously. These bites are shockingly tasty. That's why they make fantastic party food. Of course, the bourbon keeps things spirited, too! 

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free recipe PDF.
The bites can be served as shown or you can use a little slow cooker to keep them warm throughout the evening. You can also substitute small meatballs or brats for the dogs and even change up the bourbon.

To download the recipe now in a free PDF, click here.

To read the entire blog post, scroll down or click here, and we know you'll...

Eat with plenty of joy!

~ Cleo
A Note from Cleo...

Our Coffeehouse Mystery readers may recall this recipe from Dead to the Last Drop. When our amateur sleuth faced a room full of hungry after-hours customers, she and her daughter (along with their beloved cook Luther), throw together this insanely easy snack. 

Marc and I have seen versions of this dish around the inter-web, but the recipe predates the digital domain. Given that a version of it was in my late father's Unemployed Cookbook, the basic recipe is at least 40 years old. 

Here's how we tweaked this classic for inclusion in our recent culinary mystery: We added dry mustard for better complexity of flavor. We used dark brown sugar instead of light brown for the same reason. 

Finally, we're sharing our bright idea of using pretzel sticks instead of the usual toothpicks or cocktail forks to spear them. That little bit of salty crunch with the sweet bourbon bite certainly had us eating with joy. We hope you do, too. ~ Cleo

Hot Dog Bites
by Cleo Coyle


1 pound of your favorite hot dogs*
1 cup ketchup (we use Heinz Natural)
1 cup bourbon** (we use Jim Beam)
1 teaspoon dry mustard 
1 cup dark brown sugar 
(for serving) Thin pretzel sticks

*Note 1: This recipe is delicious with beef or pork hot dogs, as well as Brats and cocktail meatballs.

**Note 2: If 1 cup of bourbon is too rich for your household, try a mix of 1/2 cup bourbon and 1/2 cup fruity red wine.


Step 1 - Cut both ends off each hot dog, slice cut each wiener into five, 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.

Step 2 - In a large skillet or saute pan, combine ketchup and bourbon and bring to a boil. As the mixture cooks, add dry mustard and dark brown sugar. Simmer for about 5 minutes and then...

Step 3 - Add your sliced hot dogs (or Brats or cocktail meatballs). When the mixture boils, lower the heat and simmer for 12 to 15 minutes. Serve warm...

SERVING NOTE: Instead of the usual toothpicks or cocktail forks, Marc and I like to serve these with pretzel sticks. That salty crunchy flavor with the sweet bourbon bite is outstanding.


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Eat (and read) with joy!

New York Times bestselling author
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Cleo (Alice) with her husband Marc

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