My quest for the best barbecue sauce ended when I tried it with bourbon. So good I had to make two slightly different recipes. You wouldn't believe how easy it is to make them and how long they last!
Making homemade barbecue sauce is very easy and quick.
You can have it in your fridge for weeks, so there's really no excuse to make it. I usually have a jar along with the best chimichurri sauce, which is the real deal of course.
Use it for barbecued and grilled meats, sandwiches, glazes for cocktail sausages, holiday hams, and other sweet and sour sauces.
The truth is that a barbecue sauce made with bourbon is fantastic. Barbecue sauce by itself is incredible. Bourbon is amazing in the first place, so both are even better.
About barbecue sauce
It originated in the United States, as we all know, in the South from what I read.
There are a million recipes and a whole lot are great ones. It all comes down to personal taste as to what goes into it in addition to the usual ingredients such as ketchup, onion, sugar or another sweetener, something spicy, and such.
My favorite is with bourbon, which lends a sweet but smoky aftertaste that is amazing.
The difference between the 2 recipes
The original recipe is redder, with a more defined tomato flavor, an onion and vinegar aftertaste, and the amount of hotness you like, since it's the added tabasco that gives it that extra kick - I suggest you start with a teaspoon and see how it goes, since adding too much makes it hard to water down afterward, something I learned the hard way.
It has a more traditional flavor, more old-fashioned.
The newer version, pictured below, of my loved bourbon barbecue sauce, is more sophisticated, with liquid smoke, soy sauce, and a few other ingredients. Its texture is more liquid and has a smoky aftertaste, a more adult version of what I always thought as barbecue sauce.
Both are amazingly easy to make, nothing more than cooking the ingredients in a saucepan, stirring often to avoid burning the bottom, and then refrigerate it before using. Really easy and so worth making at home. Grilling season is ending somewhere but will start soon somewhere else.
And a bourbon barbecue sauce is always a good idea to have in the fridge. You never know when the burger pang strikes.
Which one do I choose? The darker one, with liquid smoke. For now at least.
Related recipes you might like:
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Bourbon Barbecue Sauce - two recipes
My quest for a favorite barbecue sauce ended when I tried it with bourbon. So good you guys! Two recipes that are amazing, different and so easy to make you wouldn't believe it!
- Total Time: 20 minutes
- Yield: 1 ½ cups each
For the red one (right on top picture):
- 1 cup (240g) ketchup
- 2 Tablespoons molasses
- 3 Tablespoons honey
- ⅓ cup bourbon
- 2 Tablespoons dijon mustard
- ½ to 1 teaspoon hot sauce (such as Tabasco)
- 1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
For the brown one (left on top picture):
- 1 cup ketchup
- ½ cup bourbon
- 3 Tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 Tablespoon molasses
- 2 Tablespoon honey
- 3 Tablespoon apple vinegar
- 2 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Tablespoon soy sauce
- 1 Tablespoon dijon mustard
- 1 ½ teaspoon liquid smoke
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon hot paprika
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- For both recipes, put all ingredients in a medium saucepan with high edges.
- Mix with a wooden spoon and cook at low heat for 20 to 30 minutes, stirring often, until it thickens a bit.
- Let cool completely, transfer to a container with lid, and refrigerate.
- It keeps for weeks, even months.
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 10
- Category: Sauces
- Method: Cooking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: barbecue sauce
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Abbe@This is How I Cook says
I love a good BBQ sauce! I have my fave but I might have to break down and try that one with bourbon!
Love bbq sauces! I would like to try both.
The Ninja Baker says
Thanks for the warning on the tabasco sauce =) Your sauces do appear luscious and perfect for a BBQ party, Paula =) P.s. I'm hankering to try your pound cake recipe, too!
Cocoa and Lavender says
Funny that I live in the land of BBQ and have never made a BBQ sauce! You have inspired me, Paula! (Gald to see you back!) xo, David
Liz Berg says
I need to plan to grill something ASAP! I want to smear whatever it is with your luscious BBQ sauce---I'll have one happy family!
HipFoodie Mom says
Paula, I have to try the bourbon barbecue sauce.. love this!!
Mary Hirsch says
Oh, Paula, I just love your pictures with the sauce running over the jars and spoons. Perhaps BA just brought their latest sauce recipe up-to-date and more au courant. Both sound delicious but if I had my druthers I would go with the smoky version. Really nice post. Really nice photos.
I've got ribs in the freezer and bourbon on the shelf, so you know which recipe I'm making! Either way both recipes are better than the store bought stuff.
Renee Dobbs says
I think I'd like either of the sauces, depending on what I'm using it on. One for slow-cooking (like in a crock pot) and one for grilling.
Angie Schneider says
I just bought some spareribs and all I need right now is some awesome bbq sauce like yours :-))