the life and times of J T Frey

Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

On our annual trip to the Outer Banks we pitch-in one night by making dinner: local fish and shrimp (usually grilled) are front and center on the menu. I was planning to do a bbq-ish theme this year, and since I can count on finding excellent salmon at the local seafood markets I planned for a bourbon barbecue glazed salmon. Which just meant I needed a bourbon barbecue sauce; this one is adapted from several recipes I found online. Redemption is a higher-quality bourbon with a very smooth taste, so I used a bit more of it than recipes that advocated for cheaper brands. And I always like to add the liquid smoke late in the cooking process. Adding the black pepper at the end keeps a bit more of the sharp bite from that ingredient, too.

About 1 cup of sauce

  • ½ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup bourbon (I used Redemption straight bourbon whiskey)
  • cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1/8 cup cider vinegar
  • ¼ tsp onion powder
  • ¼ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • 1 tsp liquid hickory smoke
  • ¼ tsp black pepper, freshly ground
  1. Combine all ingredients except liquid smoke and black pepper in a small sauce pan over medium heat.
  2. Bring to a simmer then reduce the heat to maintain a simmer until the sauce has reduced to about 1 cup and thickened.
  3. Add the liquid smoke and continue simmering for 5 minutes.
  4. Remove from the heat and stir in the black pepper.
  5. Allow to cool then transfer to a bottle or jar.

Written by Jeff Frey on Sunday August 8, 2021
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