How To Make a Bourbon Paralyzer

5 from 6 votes
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A glass of Bourbon Paralyzer topped with whipped cream and cherry. A bottle of Jim Beam brand bourbon at the back.
Bourbon Paralyzer

Today, I needed a paralyzer cocktail. Today’s already been a day full of adventures, I’ve spent the last two hours in the medicentre getting a piece of glass dug out of the bottom of my foot, stitched up, jabbed with a tetanus shot and now I’m going to hobble around the next few days thanks to the stitched up cut in the bottom of my foot. All thanks to a glass that didn’t want to bounce off my hardwood floors and decided to smash instead. How rude.

Seriously, I can’t remember the last time I got stitches. My c-section with my daughter over 8 years ago? I think so.

Lesson #1: if you think you might have glass in the bottom of your foot, just go and get it out. It’s better than waiting like I did realizing oh…there’s still glass there. Sigh. I always put things off.

Lesson #2 : Holy crap, does a needle in the bottom of your foot hurt, dudes. I have a couple of tattoos, no fear of needles whatsoever  ( I don’t even flinch for needles anymore, they barely hurt) but I admit it, I yelped when the good ol’ doctor froze the bottom of my foot. There might have been a “Holy Sh&T!” exclaimed as well and some eyes watering.

Remind me never to tattoo the bottom of my foot.

So I’m home and hobbling – nothing like a nasty stitched cut on the ball of your foot for a week – and I’m thinking of putting my feet up and drinking something refreshing.

This past week camping I was playing around with bourbon and by now I am sure you all realize that I love me some bourbon.

I also love retro drinks. I don’t need no stinkin’ herb infused fancy cocktails (though I will drink them) I am solidly in love with old classics.

Nothing screams of my bar days in the 90’s like a paralyzer. These along with vodka slimes and candy apples…oh yah baby, we are flashing back to the good ol’ buck a drink days!

Do you remember those? Dollar highballs? It’s like an urban legend that one day I will tell my children. Heck, already people I know that are 10 years younger than me never got to enjoy those watered down cocktails of old.

This weekend I wanted a bourbon paralyzer, which is just taking the basic paralyzer and subbing in bourbon for the vodka.

Let me tell you, it’s a vast improvement. Bourbon and Kahlua?  Delicious! Those two are going to make an appearance together again, I’m just not sure how. Seriously yummy.

Now this isn’t a drink for the fainthearted, with a solid 3 ounces of liquor in it! You can definitely tone it down to half the amounts but keep the proportions if you can.

Have fun my darlings! When’s the last time you had a paralyzer?

And do YOU remember those dollar highballs? I’m not that old, so there must be some of you that remember! Oh, the good times I had in the Carstairs Hotel bar…. 😉



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A modern take on the classic Paralyzer. It's SO much better with bourbon! #cocktail #bourbon


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How To Make a Bourbon Paralyzer

A modern take on the classic Paralyzer. It's SO much better with bourbon!
5 from 6 votes
A glass of Bourbon Paralyzer topped with whipped cream and cherry
Prep Time
5 minutes
Total Time
5 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


  • 4 ounces coke
  • 2 ounces bourbon
  • 1 ounce kahlua
  • 3 ounces milk or cream if you dare
  • whipped cream
  • cherry
  • 1/2 cup ice


  • Pour the coke into the bottom of a large cocktail glass then add the ice.
  • Combine the milk with the bourbon and the kahlua - this prevents it from curdling.
  • Pour into the glass.
  • Top with whipped cream and a cherry.Enjoy!

Nutrition Information

Calories: 322kcal, Carbohydrates: 28g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 2g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 8mg, Sodium: 44mg, Potassium: 112mg, Sugar: 27g, Vitamin A: 140IU, Calcium: 96mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

I’m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

Learn more about me

Site Index Bourbon Cocktails Cola Kahlua

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Rosaline Linhart says

    mostly now I stick to wine…I found the recipe tucked into a 1957 cookbook

  2. Rosaline Linhart says

    Recipe for a Pink Lady…not to be confused with the treatment drink in an emergency ward…… for 1 drink 1 egg white, 1tsp grenadine,1 tsp half & half cream ,1,5oz gin 1cup crushd ice..

  3. Sharon Thomas says

    They were my Grandmother’s favorite drink, at home she would just mix gin with fresca and add a maraschino cherry with a dribble of the juice

  4. Sharon Thomas says

    1/2 ounce gin
    1/2 ounce applejack or apple brandy
    1/2 ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
    1 egg white*
    2 liberal dashes of grenadine syrup (approx. 1/4 ounce total)
    Optional garnish: Maraschino cherry

  5. Kendyl Hudson says

    Ahh to be young again…many a night I don’t remember there lol

  6. The Kitchen Magpie says

    No, but the name is awesome! What’s in it?

  7. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Science is very, very important you know. It’s a worthy cause.

  8. Rosaline Linhart says

    I will have to see if I can find an old recipe for it.

  9. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Hhaha ok I might have laughed out loud at the auto-pour part of that!

  10. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Ok the name is just adorable lol! That sounds SOooo good!

  11. Rosaline Linhart says

    Pink Lady’s now I think they are just gross, in the 70’s they were the In drink for bridal showers…. Gin should never go with cream…

  12. Sharon Thomas says

    In the …ahem…late 70’s whilst travelling in Australia, the drink of choice as a Fluffy Duck, equal parts white rum and advocaat mixed with either lemonade or pineapple juice and cream floated on the top. They went down easy…some days too easy! lol

  13. Quadelle Rose says

    I remember the Long Island Ice Tea being popular in the early 90’s… during my brief (thank goodness!!!), “bar days…” :))

  14. Lorna Dolan says

    Absolutely I remember the paralyzer. Now, do you remember the dirty mother

  15. Kendyl Hudson says

    I loooooove cherry whiskey paralyzers! I used to drink so many regular paralyzers, the bar in Athabasca would automatically pour me one when they saw me come in lol

  16. Dayna Burnell says

    Oh my goodness. WHY. I swore my paralyzer days were long over! And now you do this to me! I’ll have to make one or five…for science.

  17. Rosaline Linhart says

    sure was fun in the “good old days” though

  18. The Kitchen Magpie says

    This is seriously the sweetest story ever!

  19. Ashley Meek says

    Singapore Slings & Long Island Iced Teas for me too!

  20. Tania Brunet says

    Sambuca Paralyzers are my favorite paralyzer!

  21. Jennifer Print says

    OMGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGGG when i was introduced to drinking, it was by these yummy drinks.. and they are still one of my favs… now to send hubby to the liquor store lol

  22. Debbie Robinson Woloshyn says

    Used to love Singapore Slings and Long Island Iced Teas. Never heard of the Vodka Slimes and Candy Apples – but they sound interesting! And I do believe there were a few inappropriate named shooters that I may have sampled once or twice

  23. Rosaline Linhart says

    quite a few years ago, my mother who was in her 80’s,enjoyed a good drink. I had introduced her to the joys of Harveyl Wallbangers. One evening I took her out for supper and the young man serving asked if we would like a drink. Oh yes please said she…I’ll have a Harvey Ballwanger. I thought the poor server would choke trying not to laugh,, here she was a sweet little old white haired lady of about 85 asking for that….. By the time he got back to the kitchen, everyone back there was laughing He was very cool about it, brought the drink and presented it to her with the words Here is your Harvey Ballwanger ma’am , never batting an eye..Very classy of him not humiliating her. She lived to 99 1/2 and never ever knew she had mixed up the name.

  24. elysechatt says

    I have never had a paralyzer, but it sounds like my kinda party! 

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