Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

I’ve been on a Latin inspired hype with my 4th of July recipes, so to balance it out I threw in some good ol’ Amurrican barbecue. This recipe was adapted from epicurious, but I omitted a few ingredients, added a little more of others, and for the sake of throwing a huge barbecue, I doubled the recipe as follows. I don’t know why I never made my own barbecue sauce before; it’s super easy! You just throw everything into a pot and let it cook down, and most of the ingredients are staples you can usually find in your pantry.

If you’re just cooking for yourself/your family at home, half the quantities that follow.

You will need:

  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup bourbon whiskey (I used Jim Beam)
  • 6 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 6 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons molasses
  • 4 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 3 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 4 teaspoons onion powder
  • 2 teaspoons dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Put your ingredients into a large sauce pot, and whisk together over medium heat. Once the ingredients are all incorporated, you will notice it start to bubble up, which is when you should turn your heat to low. If you don’t turn your heat to low, it will start to burst and splatter and make you fear for your life (I learned this the hard way).


Keep the mixture going over low heat, whisking frequently, until it starts to thicken up and the bourbon has cooked off. I kept this going for about 25 minutes. Taste as you go along! I thought it was done after 15 minutes, but I tasted it and the bourbon flavor was still incredibly overwhelming.


Once your sauce is done, keep some aside in a jar to be used as a garnish. Take the remaining sauce and marinate chicken or pork overnight–I used the sauce to marinate some chicken thighs.



Happy eating!

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