If you like whiskey, you'll love this bourbon BBQ sauce. It's perfectly sweet, a little smoky, and generously flavored with bourbon. Bonus that it takes only 25 minutes to make and is easily made refined sugar-free.

Try this bourbon BBQ sauce recipe on our baked BBQ chicken, BBQ crockpot beef ribs, or in our BBQ crockpot chicken chili.

A jar of bourbon bbq sauce with a bottle of bourbon in the background.

Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Calling all bourbon lovers! It's time for our favorite BBQ sauce.

If you've never made your own before, you'll be amazed at how easy it is to whip up some BBQ sauce. Simply put the ingredients into a pot and let them boil until it thickens.

We use a full cup of bourbon here as we love the flavor. The extra liquid in the recipe means it takes about five minutes longer to cook, but we think it is 100% worth the time.

READ MORE: Best BBQ Sauce for Chicken

What kind of bourbon should I use?

We often use Jim Beam as it's a decent, inexpensive bourbon. Don't waste a good bourbon in this recipe. This is the time to reach for something that tastes good but doesn't cost a lot.

Can I make this a whiskey bbq sauce?

Yes! Whiskey works just as well in this recipe. We've made it with Jameson's with success.

BBQ chicken on a plate with a side of homemade bbq sauce.

Does bourbon bbq sauce have alcohol?

Some, but not much. Alcohol evaporates (or cooks off) as the sauce boils. The amount of alcohol that remains in food after it is cooked depends on a variety of things like how long it is cooked, the size of the pot (bigger = more alcohol evaporation), and the other ingredients in the recipe.

Anecdotal evidence: we've eaten a lot of bourbon bbq sauce and not felt the tiniest bit ‘funny' afterward.

How long does homemade bbq sauce last?

This bbq sauce will last for two weeks in your fridge. For longer storage, freeze it in individual servings for up to three months.

Recipes to use this bourbon bbq sauce

Now that you have your delicious bbq sauce on hand, you'll want to use it on everything. Here are a few of our favorite recipes that use bbq sauce:

A spoon in a jar of bourbon bbq sauce.

Popular BBQ recipes

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A jar of bourbon bbq sauce with a bottle of bourbon in the background.

Bourbon BBQ Sauce

  • Author: Kristen Stevens
  • Prep Time: 10 mins
  • Cook Time: 15 mins
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 1 ¾ cups 1x
  • Category: Sauce
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: North American

Description

If you like whiskey, you'll love this bourbon BBQ sauce. It's perfectly sweet, a little smoky, and generously flavored with bourbon. Bonus that it takes only 25 minutes to make and is easily made refined sugar-free.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 ½ cups ketchup (see notes)
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • ½ cup coconut sugar (or sub ⅓ cup brown sugar)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (vegan, if needed)
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 1 tablespoon dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon EACH: garlic powder and onion powder

 


Instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients into a small pot over medium-high heat. Stir well then bring the pot to a boil. Reduce the heat so that it bubbles gently and continue to cook (with the lid off) for 15 minutes, or until the sauce reduces to about 1 ¾ cups. 
  2. Store for up to 2 weeks in your fridge or up to 3 months in your freezer. 

Notes

We like to use a no sugar added ketchup in this recipe. Heinz makes a good option. 

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A jar of bourbon bbq sauce with a bottle of bourbon in the background and the recipe title on top of the picture.