Food: Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Welcome to the latest addition to the Whiskey Corner.   We’ve posted some great whiskey reviews, added some delicious cocktail recipes and created some great conversation topics to enjoy over a whiskey with good friends.  What else could we possibly bring to the table?? Well how about some of our favorite bourbon recipes or suggested food and bourbon pairings? All things bourbon.

Some of us are not lucky enough to enjoy the glorious warmth of the sun all year round, but below zero temps have never stopped us from pouring a wee dram and firing up the bbq all year round.  With hat, scarf and bourbon in hand, we brave the elements. Lately, we’ve had a small glimpse of the spring that is finally here and we begin to look forward to summer evenings, the smell of fresh cut grass in the air, smoke coming off the bbq and sipping a bourbon on the deck with family and friends.

Here is a super simple bbq sauce for use on ribs, chicken, chops, or toss it with that beautiful shredded pork shoulder that you just smoked.  This sauce is pretty tangy and once combined and cooked down, feel free to adjust the flavors. If you like a sweeter bbq sauce, back off the vinegar and bump up the sugar.  Like some heat? Add a couple teaspoons of your go to hot sauce.




1 cup of bourbon**, plus 2oz

2 cups of ketchup

1 cup of brown sugar (or substitute 2/3 cup of maple syrup – tis the season!)

3 tbsp of apple cider vinegar

2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tbsp Dijon mustard

3 tbsp soy sauce


Pour 2 oz of bourbon in a whiskey glass.  This is for you to sip while you make this sauce, because you deserve it.  You’re welcome.

Combine the rest of the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to boil for 2 -3 minutes, stirring often.   

Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes, stirring often.  Taste and adjust according to flavor preference.

Use on whatever you are grilling but apply as you near the end of grilling time to avoid flare ups.

Unused sauce can be used for dipping or store any unused portions in the fridge for up to 7 days.  You can also make this a day or two in advance, in fact we recommend it, so that the flavors blend together.  Reheat before using!

**when choosing your bourbon for the sauce, we like to avoid a barrel strength/high proof as this sometimes overwhelms the flavor.  A “bottom shelf” bourbon works well. Enjoy!

What’s your favorite go to bbq sauce?  We’d love to hear from you!


Maureen Linehan


Jordan GrigsbyComment