Kentucky Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Post date: Jun 9, 2009 3:54:05 AM

Now that I live in the South, I'm having to master the art of BBQ. And of course here, BBQ is not the appliance you cook on - that's a grill - but the rich, super-tender pull apart pork slathered in a regionally-perfected sauce. This is a hybrid BBQ sauce, mixing Texas (sweet tomato base) and North Carolina (vinegar base) styles. This sauce makes a killer substitute for tomato sauce on pizza. Try topping with chicken, pineapple and a nice, assertive cheese.

You can substitute regular molasses for sorghum molasses. If you want a more bitter sauce, use blackstrap.

Yields about 1.5 cups of sauce


  • 1/2 medium yellow onion, grated on a box grater
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 Tbsp oil
  • 1/4 cup of sorghum molasses
  • 1 cup tomato ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp Kentucky bourbon
  • 4 Tbsp cider vinegar (2 reserved)
  • 2 tsp. Chinese black vinegar (can substitute Worcestershire Sauce)
  • 2 Tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 tsp liquid smoke
  • 1-3 tsp of Siracha, or other hot sauce
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • salt to taste


Heat oil in the bottom of a sauce pan until just starting to smoke. Add onions and cook for 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds. Add everything but 2 Tbsp of cider vinegar and the salt and pepper. Stir to combine. Heat over medium high heat until beginning to boil. Turn heat to low and simmer for 1 hour. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in remaining 2 Tbsp of cider vinegar. Adjust sweetness to taste (this varies depending on the type of ketchup and chilis used).