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When you make this easy homemade Whiskey BBQ Sauce, you get a sticky, flavorful, tangy sauce that give your barbecued meats a mouthwatering finish.

mason jar with homemade barbecue sauce
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Why this recipe works so well:

  • My barbecue sauce is so incredibly delicious. The flavor is really intense in the best possible way. Once you make this recipe, you’ll never want to buy store bought barbecue sauce again.
  • This recipe is not difficult to make. In fact, it’s rather easy and no skill is required.
  • The only chopping involved is for the onion and garlic which can also be pulsed in the food processor.
  • Most of the ingredient can already be found in your pantry.
  • The recipe is easy to double, triple, etc. if you want to make a big batch for future use.
  • This sauce tastes fantastic on chicken, beef, pork – you name it!
  • The whiskey adds great flavor (even if you’re not a fan) and the alcohol burns off during the cooking process.

Here’s how to make it:

Even though there are quite a few ingredients in this recipe that each need to be measured, the actual recipe only takes a couple of steps.

  1. The first step is to cook the minced garlic and onion in whiskey. To do this, you’ll use a heavy bottomed sauce pan over medium heat. You’ll cook the onions until they get very tender and translucent which will take about 10 minutes.
  2. Then, you’ll add all of the remaining ingredients that include salt and pepper, ketchup, tomato paste, apple cider vinegar, liquid smoke, Worcestershire sauce, brown sugar, and hot pepper sauce. This mixture gets brought to a boil and then simmers over low heat for about an hour.
ingredients for homemade easy whiskey bbq sauce

Cooking tips for perfect results:

  • I prefer this sauce as a finishing sauce used during the last phase of your barbecue cooking as opposed to a marinade, but do with it as you will.  Just make it!
  • Because I like my barbecue sauce smooth, I prefer to run the onion and garlic through the food processor. You can dice them by hand, but the food processor makes the process quick and easy.
  • If you make a large batch of barbecue sauce, you can freeze it or water bath can it for future use. To freeze, I recommend using reusable plastic containers. To water bath can, I’ve used pint sized jars and have let them boil for 20 minutes.
  • If you’re looking for other sauce recipes, be sure to check out this Carolina Mustard Barbecue Sauce or a Dr. Pepper Jalapeno BBQ Sauce.
homemade bbq sauce with ribs

Step-by-step recipe video below!

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Whiskey BBQ Sauce

Prep20 minutes
Cook1 hour 15 minutes
Total1 hour 35 minutes
Servings 8 servings
When you make this easy Whiskey BBQ Sauce, the end product is a tangy dance of flavors that give your summer barbecued meats a mouthwatering finish.

Video

Equipment

Ingredients 

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Instructions 

  • Over medium heat in heavy bottom sauce pan, cook onion and garlic in whiskey until tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Mix in remaining ingredients and stir.
  • Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer and cook for 1 hour.
  • This recipe can be doubled, tripled or quadrupled, if desired, and canned in a water bath for future use.

Notes

Cooking tips for perfect results:

  • I prefer this sauce as a finishing sauce used during the last phase of your barbecue cooking as opposed to a marinade, but do with it as you will.  Just make it!
  • Because I like my barbecue sauce smooth, I prefer to run the onion and garlic through the food processor. You can dice them by hand, but the food processor makes the process quick and easy.
  • If you make a large batch of barbecue sauce, you can freeze it or water bath can it for future use. To freeze, I recommend using reusable plastic containers. To water bath can, I’ve used pint sized jars and have let them boil for 20 minutes.

Nutrition

Calories: 192kcal, Carbohydrates: 33g, Protein: 1g, Sodium: 1142mg, Potassium: 382mg, Sugar: 28g, Vitamin A: 440IU, Vitamin C: 6.4mg, Calcium: 37mg, Iron: 1.1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Did you make this? Leave me a comment below

Hi! I’m Krissy.

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15 Comments

  1. 5 stars
    The sauce is simmering on my stove as I am writing this and it smells delicious. I’ve cheated and taken a couple of tastes along the way and can’t believe how great it tastes. I had to mix a couple of different bourbons because I only had half a cup of Beam left in a bottle and about a quarter cup of Black Feather bourbon in another bottle. I also substituted minced dehydrated onions for fresh, but I very happy with how the recipe is turning out. Tomorrow I’m going to smoke some boneless pork country ribs on my pellet smoker. I’m thinking this is going to be my go to barbecue sauce in the future. Thanks for the great recipe.

  2. The recipe sounds very good and I will be giving it a try thanks for posting. One suggestion I would make is changing the wording in your recipe, Jack Daniels is Tennessee Whiskey not bourbon whiskey there are very distinct differences in the distilling process which make them taste very different, if the whiskey adds a certain flavor to the recipe i’d be more specific, I will try it both ways to see which i prefer.

    1. Thanks, Dennis!!! I definitely have some learning to do when it comes to the world of whiskey! Let me know what you think!

  3. Made a 5 batch today and used my kitchen aide hand mixer to blend in onion pieces after all cooked…. have to say this is one of the best …. canned 16 pints if canning make sure to bring all to a boil at 180 for at least 5 minutes then hot clean stearlized jars and water bath 15 minutes …. thanks for the great recipie

    1. I think we did like 45min. The seals popped just fine and I’ve used sealed bottles since and we’re all still fine. Perhaps we were just lucky. 🙂

      1. 5 stars
        You’re very lucky. Tomato based products generally requiIre pressure canning, not water bath. You can submit your recipe to the FDA for best practices as to the method and time.

        1. Grew up in an Italian family that canned tomato sauce using fresh plum tomatoes in the fall. My parents did this every Sept. so we had sauce for the whole year. They never pressure canned, but used a boiling water bath to sterilize and seal the pint & quart jars. Never had a problem from eating the sauce and we had pasta twice a week. I’m 71 & my brother is 78 and we’re both still going strong.

        2. Hi, Drew – I’m all for erring on the side if careful, so, no offense ! But, I found your comment very surprising because it’s actually tomatoes that are one of the most common things to can, and unless one us adding meat or too many or certain types of other vegetables, it’s always water bath can-able. All my canning books and looking up things online when I moved and couldn’t find my book – using Gov. etc. type sites – all say so. Now, they DO recommend nowadays that you add quite a lot of lemon juice per quart ( 2 tablespoons I think), to even plain tomato sauce, as them being acidic enough on their own can depend on variety, and many modern varieties are very mild. Definitely be careful though folks, be sure that any recipe can be safely water bath canned and don’t be too sure about what your grandma did or didn’t do. An ingredient or amount or ratio you’re doing may be different, after all. And they also took people dying more in stride… . Be sure to understand about botulism risks !