Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce is an easy homemade bbq sauce recipe that’s sweet and smoky with no refined sugar and big bourbon flavor!

homemade bbq sauce in jar

How was your Fourth of July?  We had a great time as we were in Boise soaking up the sun.  We went Class 4 river rafting, which I was a bit apprehensive about.

Two years ago we went Class 3 river rafting and it was fairly mild.  I’d heard Class 4 was much more intense, but it wasn’t bad at all.  We had a great guide with us, so all we had to do was follow her instructions to stay out of the way of rocks and stay in the raft.

It was a total blast.

If I had been home for the holiday, you better believe I would have been grilling.  I had a batch of this bourbon bbq sauce in the fridge, and I would have loved to put it to use!

front view of homemade bbq sauce in jar with basting brush

Homemade BBQ Sauce

Have you ever made homemade bbq sauce?  It’s a game changer.  Most store bought barbecue sauces on the market are full of preservatives and especially sugar.  This recipe contains no refined sugar and it’s completely customizable to suit your taste.

While I don’t drink bourbon, I love cooking with it because it adds a great depth of flavor.  

See my other bourbon recipes below:

Homemade english toffee

Pan seared pork chops

Slow cooker ham

overhead shot of homemade bbq sauce with basting brush and bourbon bottle

How to make homemade bbq sauce

Making your own barbecue sauce is very easy.  It takes 5-10 minutes of prep, and about 10 minutes of cooking time.  

The ingredients list may seem a bit long to you, but they’re necessary to develop the depth of flavor that all great barbecue sauces have.

Most of the ingredients are probably already in your pantry or fridge, too!

Here’s what you’ll need:

  • Natural ketchup — preferably organic and low in sugar
  • Bourbon
  • Pure maple syrup
  • Fresh orange juice
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Tomato paste
  • Dijon mustard
  • Onion powder
  • Garlic powder
  • Smoked paprika
  • Liquid smoke 

Pop all of these ingredients in a medium sauce pan and stir until combined.  Bring to a boil over medium heat, reduce the temperature to medium low, and simmer for 10 minutes until the sauce has thickened.

The sauce will thicken as it cools.

overhead shot of homemade bbq sauce dripping from basting bruch

How long does homemade bbq sauce last?

This bbq sauce will keep in the fridge in an air tight container for up to two weeks.

How to use bourbon barbecue sauce

This easy homemade bbq sauce is perfect for chicken and pulled pork!  See the recipes below.

BBQ pulled chicken slow cooker

Instant pot pulled pork

Turkey meatloaf

If you prefer your bbq sauce without ketchup, try this sauce for my Slow cooker meatballs.

Recipe tips and substitutions

  • Use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce or tamari to make this bbq sauce gluten-free.
  • No bourbon? Replace with your favorite alcohol, fruit juice, jam or fruit purée.
  • The maple syrup may be substituted with the sweetener of your choice. If you like a sweeter bbq sauce, feel free to add more sweetener.
  • The orange juice may be substituted with apple, pineapple or your favorite fruit juice.

front view of homemade bbq sauce with sauce dripping down front

 

Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Yield: 1 cup
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes

Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce is an easy homemade bbq sauce recipe that's sweet and smoky with no refined sugar and big bourbon flavor!

Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Ingredients

  • 1 cup natural ketchup -- preferably organic and low in sugar
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup fresh orange juice
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons liquid smoke

Instructions

  1. Place all ingredients in a medium sauce pan and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to medium low and simmer for about 10 minute until the sauce has thickened.
  2. Remove from heat and cool completely. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Notes

  • Store sauce in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  • Use gluten-free Worcestershire sauce or tamari to make this bbq sauce gluten-free.
  • No bourbon? Replace with your favorite alcohol, fruit juice, jam or fruit purée.
  • The maple syrup may be substituted with the sweetener of your choice. If you like a sweeter bbq sauce, feel free to add more sweetener.
  • The orange juice may be substituted with apple, pineapple or your favorite fruit juice.

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