Maple & Bourbon Barbecue Sauce Recipe


By Richard Thomas

Pork in barbecue sauce

(Credit: Rich Thomas)

Bourbon and Southern barbecue just go together. Just ask noted barbecue chef Adam Perry Lang. Here at The Whiskey Reviewer, following the cooking with whiskey beat has led us to trot out a variety of recipes that call for spiking barbecue sauces, classic sides, and suitable desserts with bourbon. Here we return to the subject of sauce, and show how you can use bourbon to take barbecue sauce deep into sugary sweet territory.

Maple syrup and bourbon take a sauce already sweetened by brown sugar and go the extra mile with it. Flavors like this go best with pork, but can work with chicken. I can’t recommend using this sauce with beef.

6 oz (175 ml) of tomato sauce
1/2 cup of cider vinegar
1/2 cup of maple syrup
1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce
1 cup of bourbon whiskey
1/2 cup of packed brown sugar
1 tbsp liquid smoke
2 tsp cayenne pepper
2 tsp sweet paprika
2 tsp garlic powder
2 tsp onion powder
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp mustard powder

Pour all the ingredients together in a pot and whisk them together. Turn on a stove burner to medium-low heat, and bring the mix to a low, gentle simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, mostly to melt and combine the sugar with the other ingredients, while stirring periodically. Do not overheat the sauce, as it will cause most of the alcohol to evaporate.

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