Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

By Richard Thomas

Whether your preferred barbecue style is North Carolina, Tennessee or Texas, few things work as well with barbecue recipes as straight bourbon whiskey (unless you actually are a Tennessean, in which case you probably prefer Tennessee whiskey). The sweet, smokey character of bourbon seems almost tailor-made to go with the barbecue flavors of charcoal smoke, brown sugar and tomato sauce, especially its pork is what is on the grill.

The Whiskey Reviewer has already taken a look at bourbon’s uses with cook-out side dishes and with pork in our baked beans and pork marinade recipes. This recipe is for making a general purpose bourbon barbecue sauce that is as good on beef and chicken as it is on pork.

With so many bourbon-flavored barbecue sauces on the market already, one might wonder why making your own sauce from scratch is even necessary. The answer is simple: control. Making your own means enjoying full control over how the end product will turn out. If you want something sweeter, take this recipe and add more sugar. Do you want something bolder? Try adding chipotle chili powder. If you like fruity flavors, add a little cherry or blueberry syrup. Another thing to consider is that some barbecue lovers (kike yours truly) live in a place where buying an imported, brand name barbecue sauce is expensive, even if the individual ingredients are inexpensive and readily available.

For most people, the virtue of a recipe like this is its flexibility. Use it as a base and experiment with it. Eventually, you will come up with your own secret recipe that will be a hit at every cook-out you don the apron for.

 

Ingredients
2 tbsp. of butter
2 large cloves of garlic
1 small yellow onion
1 cup tomato sauce
1/3 cup brown sugar
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. white vinegar
1 tbsp. bourbon whiskey
1 tbsp. honey
2 tsp. mustard powder
1 tbsp. chili powder
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper

Dice the garlic and onion. Melt the butter in a saucepan, and saute the garlic and onion until tender. Add all other ingredients, starting with the liquids and then moving to the solids. Stir thoroughly, then simmer covered for 20 to 30 minutes.

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