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posted April 07, 2021

Bourbon BBQ Sauce

This Bourbon BBQ Sauce is the perfect sweet and savory BBQ sauce for just about anything you’re putting on the grill. Made with tomato paste, bourbon, brown sugar, and more, it’s a sauce that is smooth and satisfying every single time.

Bourbon BBQ sauce in a glass mason jar nex to a bottle of High West bourbon with text overlay - Bourbon BBQ Sauce.

Homemade Bourbon BBQ Sauce

This homemade bourbon BBQ sauce is a whiskey-lovers dream. It’s a tomato-based BBQ sauce that is sweet and fruity from the crushed pineapple, brown sugar, molasses, and my Signature Sweet Rub, with a super smooth, earthy taste from the bourbon. It’s rounded out with sautéed onion and garlic and some apple cider vinegar for acidity.

I highly recommend trying this on some Grilled Chicken Drumsticks, smoked ribs, pulled pork sandwiches, Smoked Chicken Thighs, or Grilled Chicken Breast. You’re gonna love it!

Bourbon BBQ sauce in a large sauce pan.

Ingredients for Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Ready to make your own bourbon BBQ sauce? As you probably guess, the key ingredient in this sauce is the bourbon, so make sure you have something tasty on hand (but don’t feel like you have to use your best bourbon for this recipe, any brand will do).

In addition to the bourbon, here’s what you’ll need to gather to make this sauce. Make sure to scroll to the bottom of this post for the printable recipe card!

  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • 1/4 cup diced onion
  • 4 garlic cloves (minced)
  • 1 8-ounce can of crushed pineapple
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons Signature Sweet Rub. This sweet rub is a Hey Grill Hey cornerstone that is used in many of my recipes. You can make it yourself using my recipe for Best Sweet Rub, or you can purchase it and have it delivered directly to your front door from our store

Bourbon BBQ sauce pureed in a blender.

How to Make Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Making your own bourbon BBQ sauce is extremely easy. While most of my sauces are a “dump and simmer” kind of easy, this sauce requires a couple extra steps (including blending the sauce to get it smooth). Even so, it is still a crazy easy process to making your own, fresh BBQ sauce where you know every ingredient!

  1. Sautee onion and garlic. Melt the butter in a saucepan and add diced onions and minced garlic. Cook for 5 minutes.
  2. Add remaining ingredients. Add the remaining ingredients to the pan and bring the sauce to a boil. Reduce and simmer for 25 minutes.
  3. Blend the bourbon BBQ sauce. Transfer the sauce to a food processor or lidded blender jar. Blend or pulse until completely smooth.
  4. Chill & enjoy. While this sauce can be enjoyed immediately, it tastes even better allowed allowed to chill for 24 hours in the refrigerator. This allows all the flavors to combine.

Bam! Done! You can also make this sauce ahead of time if you know you’re going to be using it for a weekend BBQ or weeknight dinner. Whip it up a couple days in advance, and have it ready and waiting for you in the fridge to make day-of cooking faster and easier.

Bourbon BBQ sauce being basted on grilled chicken.

How to Store Homemade BBQ Sauce

I always recommend storing any homemade BBQ sauce in a glass container or jar with a tight-fitting lid. A classic mason jar (regular or wide lid work) work great, or you can even get a glass jar with a hinged lid as well.

Once you have your sauce in a secured jar, it can be stored in the refrigerator for two weeks (assuming it lasts that long!). Feel free to adjust the serving size on the recipe below so you will make the amount of sauce you plan on using within those two weeks. No one likes to throw out beautiful BBQ sauce, so if you don’t plan on using it right after you make it, scale down as needed.

Spoonful of Bourbon BBQ sauce resting on the edge of a glass mason jar.

More BBQ Sauce Recipes

Now that I’ve shown you how easy it is to make your own homemade bourbon BBQ sauce at home, try your hand at these other tasty recipes! From a classic Kansas City BBQ sauce to the tangy Carolina mustard BBQ sauce, these are just a few favorites from Hey Grill Hey:

Bourbon BBQ Sauce Recipe

Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Susie Bulloch (
This Bourbon BBQ Sauce is the perfect sweet and savory BBQ sauce for just about anything you're putting on the grill. Made with tomato paste, bourbon, brown sugar, and more, it's a sauce that is smooth and satisfying every single time.
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time : 10 mins
Cook Time : 25 mins
Total Time : 35 mins
Servings : 12
Calories : 106kcal


  • 2 Tablespoons butter
  • ¼ cup onion (diced)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 8-ounce can crushed pineapple
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 Tablespoons molasses
  • 2 Tablespoons Signature Sweet Rub (recipe in notes)


  • Sautee the onion and garlic. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the diced onions and minced garlic to the pan and cook until translucent and fragrant, about 4-5 minutes.
  • Finish making the sauce. Slowly stir in the pineapple, brown sugar, water, apple cider vinegar, bourbon, tomato paste, molasses, and sweet rub. Increase the heat to high and bring the sauce just to a boil.
  • Simmer and blend. Reduce the heat to medium low and simmer for 25 minutes. Turn off the heat and allow the sauce to cool slightly before transferring to a blender jar. Attach the blender lid tightly and blend the sauce until completely smooth.
  • Use or store. Store the sauce in a lidded jar in the refrigerator. This sauce can be used immediately, but it tastes even better after it has chilled for 24 hours. The sauce lasts up to 2 weeks in the fridge.


Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 2g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 5mg | Sodium: 67mg | Potassium: 153mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 17g | Vitamin A: 207IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 49mg | Iron: 1mg
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