Marinades, Sauces, Rubs & Salsas

Bourbon-Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce

BBQ Sauce

This Bourbon-Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce recipe has a rich, robust flavor from a blend of ketchup, brown sugar, bourbon, vinegar, molasses, and Worcestershire sauce. It’s simmered on the stove top until thickened and the flavors meld together. Mustard, liquid smoke, and hot sauce provide tanginess and subtle smokiness. Onion and garlic powders along with black pepper round out the seasoning. The result is a deeply flavored, sweet and tangy sauce perfect for slathering on grilled or smoked meats. It makes about 2 cups and can be refrigerated for several weeks.

Bourbon-Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce Recipe


Bourbon-Brown Sugar Barbecue Sauce

Recipe Notes

  • Yield: Makes about 2 cups


  • 1 cup ketchup
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, or more as needed
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Recipe Steps

Step 1: Combine the ketchup, brown sugar, bourbon, cider vinegar, molasses, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, liquid smoke, hot sauce, onion powder, garlic powder, and pepper in a nonreactive saucepan and whisk to mix.

Step 2: Gradually bring the sauce to a simmer over medium heat and let simmer until thick and flavorful, 8 to 10 minutes. Taste for seasoning, adding more cider vinegar if necessary; the sauce should be highly seasoned. Transfer the sauce to a bowl or clean jars and let cool to room temperature. Refrigerate the sauce, covered, until serving time; let it return to room temperature before using. The sauce can be refrigerated for several weeks.

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