Whiskey-Maple Barbecue Sauce

This whiskey-maple barbecue sauce brings out the best in both ingredients. These two flavors are meant to be together, and once you try this insanely delicious sauce on smoked ribs, you’ll understand. This is a must-try recipe that will up your BBQ game!

Bourbon is a hugely popular ingredient for all types of barbecue sauces, but this whiskey-maple barbecue sauce recipe takes it in a unique direction. Combining maple and mango-pineapple preserves adds a nice fruit base to temper the kick in the pants from the bourbon. This barbecue sauce is great on grilled or smoked ribs, chicken, salmon, and meat substitutes. I recommend making a little extra and serving it as a side sauce. Try dipping french fries in it. So amazingly good! This recipe makes 2 cups of barbecue sauce.

Note on bourbon: We tend to use Four Roses Bourbon in our sauce, but you can certainly use your favorite bourbon. 

whiskey-maple barbecue sauce

Ingredients for Whiskey-Maple Barbecue Sauce

  • Ketchup 
  • Bourbon
  • Mango-pineapple preserves: Substitute with pineapple preserves or jam.
  • Real maple syrup: Avoid using pancake syrup for this recipe. Real or pure maple syrup works best.
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Chili powder
  • Hot sauce 
  • Granulated onion
  • Salt and black pepper
Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce

How to Make Whiskey-Maple Barbecue Sauce

  • Simmer all of the sauce ingredients over medium-high heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. 
  • Reduce heat and simmer on low for 5-7 more minutes. Taste and adjust more cider vinegar if needed. Consistency should be good and thick.
  • Remove barbecue sauce from heat and cool for 10 minutes before using.
  • To use: brush whiskey-maple barbecue sauce onto grilled and smoked meats, every 15 minutes during the last quarter of cooking time.

Options

  • Make ahead: You can make this whiskey maple barbecue sauce ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week after preparation. I recommend making it the day before—the flavors will mellow out and balance. Reheat before using.
  • Smokiness: Want your sauce to have a little smokiness? Add 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika OR a few drops of liquid smoke.
  • How to silk a barbecue sauce: Make your whiskey-maple barbecue sauce creamier. Stir 1 tablespoon of cold butter into the sauce right when you take it off the heat. As the butter melts, it will make the sauce silky and delicious.
Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce

Whiskey-Maple Barbecue Sauce

Bourbon is a hugely popular ingredient for all types of barbecue sauces, but this one takes it in a unique direction. With a mixture of maple and mango-pineapple there is a nice fruit base to the barbecue sauce with a nice kick in the pants from the bourbon. It's great on barbecued chicken and ribs. I recommend making a little extra to serve at the table.
5 from 3 votes
Print Pin
Course: Sauces
Cuisine: American BBQ
Keyword: barbecue sauce, BBQ sauce
Prep Time: 12 minutes
Cook Time: 9 minutes
Total Time: 21 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 138kcal

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 2/3 cup bourbon
  • 1/2 cup mango-pineapple preserves
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar (to suit your tastes)
  • 1 teaspoon mild chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon hot sauce (use less if preferred)
  • 1/4 teaspoon granulated onion
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

Instructions

  • Simmer all of the sauce ingredients over medium high heat for 1-2 minutes, stirring often. Reduce heat and simmer on low for 5-7 more minutes. Taste and add more cider vinegar if needed. Consistency should be good and thick.
  • Remove barbecue sauce from heat and cool for 5-10 minutes before using.
  • You can make sauce ahead of time and store in an air tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week after preparation. I do recommend making it a day ahead, since it will give the flavors time to mellow out and balance. Reheat before using.
    Recipe makes 2 cups of barbecue sauce. See notes for more options.

Notes

  • Make ahead: You can make this whiskey maple barbecue sauce ahead of time and store it in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week after preparation. I recommend making it the day before—the flavors will mellow out and balance. Reheat before using.
  • Smokiness: Want your sauce to have a little smokiness? Add 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika OR a few drops of liquid smoke.
  • How to silk a barbecue sauce: Make your whiskey-maple barbecue sauce creamier. Stir 1 tablespoon of cold butter into the sauce right when you take it off the heat. As the butter melts, it will make the sauce silky and delicious.

Nutrition

Calories: 138kcal | Carbohydrates: 23g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 490mg | Potassium: 202mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 232IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 25mg | Iron: 1mg
Whiskey-Maple Barbecue Sauce