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

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.  

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

How to make this recipe

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 this barbecue sauce recipe

This easy homemade bbq sauce is the way to make your next meal next level.

  • Baste Grilled BBQ chicken with plenty of bbq sauce to make it finger licking good.
  • This BBQ pulled chicken is a great way to use this sauce. Simply dump in the slow cooker with chicken breasts and cook for a few hours, shred the chicken and stir with the sauce!
  • Toss my tender Instant pot pulled pork with bbq sauce and serve as a sandwich, over baked sweet potatoes or even a salad.
  • Pour over Turkey meatloaf for a meal that the entire family will love!

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

Recipe notes

  • 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

More bourbon recipes you’ll love:

If you make this recipe I’d love to hear from you! Leave a comment and rating below, or tag me @flavorthemoments on Instagram!

homemade bbq sauce in jar

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!
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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 

  • 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.
  • 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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1g, Calories: 45kcal, Carbohydrates: 9g, Sodium: 177mg, Sugar: 7g

Nutrition is estimated using a food database and is only intended to be used as a guideline for informational purposes.

Tried this recipe?Mention @flavorthemoments or tag #flavorthemoments!

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