A plate of BBQ chicken featuring a jar of homemade BBQ sauce with bourbon
Sauces, dressings & jam

Bourbon infused BBQ sauce


This is the kind of sweet and sassy BBQ sauce recipe that families keep secret and don’t share because it’s just THAT GOOD. The secret to this sauce is bourbon!

A plate of BBQ chicken featuring a jar of homemade BBQ sauce with bourbon
Finger licking bourbon infused BBQ sauce

That’s right folks…bourbon. And don’t skimp on the bourbon either. For the best results, use a good quality bourbon. Bourbon infused BBQ sauce is a wonderful all-purpose BBQ sauce that you can spread on chicken, ribs, hamburgers or what ever you fancy.

By the way, did you know May is National BBQ month? Warmer and longer days mean it’s time to get outside, spend time with family and grill.

Knob Creek bourbon bottle and BBQ sauce featured in this photo.
Patience and bourbon is the secret to this BBQ sauce

The secret to this delicious all-purpose BBQ sauce is a little patience and bourbon. If you have a favorite bourbon, use that. I used Knob Creek Kentucky Straight Bourbon and recommend it. It’s a beautiful amber color, with an aroma of maple sugar, toasted nuts and oak. When you simmer the sauce for a while (patience), you burn off the alcohol and are left with big bold flavor. And that’s what takes a BBQ sauce from hum drum to WOW.

Need a recipe for to-die-for ribs? Check out my succulent fall off the bone BBQ pork ribs recipe.

A rack of ribs on the BBQ
BBQ pork ribs

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Essentials for this recipe:

Hunt’s Tomato Ketchup
White Vinegar
Worcestershire Sauce

Need some sides to go with your BBQ?

Give these classics a try

Northwest potato salad
Simple corn bread
Potato and green bean salad
Strawberry Lemonade
Peach sorbet

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Bourbon infused BBQ sauce

The secret to this sweet and sassy BBQ sauce is bourbon. Try it on ribs, chicken, hamburgers or steak.

  • 2 cups ketchup ((Preferably Hunt’s tomato ketchup))
  • 2 tbsp white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 3/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp dried thyme
  • 1 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper ((or more to taste))
  1. Combine all ingredients in a two quart sauce pan and bring to a gentle boil on medium-high heat.
  2. Reduce the heat to low and simmer gently for 30 minutes or until it begins to thicken and the alcohol burns off.
  3. This recipe will yield about two and a half cups of sauce. Store the sauce in a large jar in the refrigerator

I recommend Hunt’s tomato ketchup because of the flavor and it does not contain additives or preservatives.



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