Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

Homemade Worcestershire Sauce

The Spruce / Christine Ma

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 5 hrs 15 mins
Total: 5 hrs 35 mins
Servings: 96 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
26 Calories
0g Fat
5g Carbs
0g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 96
Amount per serving
Calories 26
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 5mg 0%
Total Carbohydrate 5g 2%
Dietary Fiber 0g 1%
Protein 0g
Calcium 13mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The recipe for Worcestershire sauce, pronounced "Wust ta sheer," dates back to the early nineteenth century, when the British Lord Sandys acquired it during travels in Bengal. In 1835, he commissioned a pair of chemists back in his English hometown of Worcester to try and replicate the flavor. John Lea and William Perrins gave it a go but were disappointed by the results. They stuck the jars in the cellar and forgot about them.

After a few years, Lea and Perrins found the bottles under a thick layer of dust and decided to give the sauce another chance. During the unintentional aging process, it had developed a rich and savory flavor identified by modern foodies as umami. The partners bottled more, and a taste for Lea & Perrins Worcestershire Sauce spread throughout Europe, to America, and across the world.

Now a generic term, Worcestershire sauce is marketed by many other brands with some proprietary variations in ingredients. Lea & Perrins closely guards its original recipe for the still-thriving company's Worcestershire Sauce, but the main ingredients include vinegar, anchovies, tamarind, molassesgarlic, and onions, along with sugar and undisclosed spices and seasonings.

Consider making your own Worcestershire sauce at home and using it in your recipes. It does contain a lot of ingredients, but the method is simple.


  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 large sweet onions (roughly chopped)
  • 1/2 cup tamarind paste
  • 2 tablespoons minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons minced ginger
  • 2 jalapeños (seeds removed and minced)
  • 1/4 cup anchovies (chopped)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 2 tablespoons freshly cracked black pepper
  • 1/2 cup dark corn syrup
  • 1 cup molasses
  • 3 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup dark beer
  • 1/2 cup orange juice
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 lemon (thinly sliced)
  • 1 lime (thinly sliced)

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce ingredients

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  2. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and sauté the onions until soft, about 7 minutes.

    sauté the onions in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  3. Add the tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, and jalapeños. Cook over medium-low heat for another 5 minutes.

    Onions, tamarind paste, garlic, ginger, and jalapeños in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  4. Add the remaining ingredients, anchovies through lime, and stir to combine. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 5 hours.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce ingredients cooking together in a large saucepan

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  5. Test doneness of sauce by seeing that it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce tested on the back of a wood spoon

    The Spruce / Christine Ma

  6. Strain the Worcestershire sauce into glass bottles or jars and refrigerate.

    Homemade Worcestershire sauce

    The Spruce / Christine Ma


  • Fresh Worcestershire sauce lasts in an airtight container in the refrigerator for several weeks. For longer storage, can it in a boiling-water canner according to the manufacturer's instructions.
  • Use Worcestershire sauce to add background flavor to meats, gravies, soups, and vegetable juices. It is also a versatile table condiment and an essential ingredient in the bloody mary cocktail.