Jim Beam Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Bourbon barbecue sauce

Diana Rattray

Prep: 10 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 18 to 24 servings
Yields: 3 cups

Jim Beam Kentucky bourbon flavors this sauce and gives it some lively spirit. This barbecue sauce is spiked with a generous amount of Kentucky bourbon. Along with the ketchup and bourbon, soy sauce, vinegar, some dry mustard, and cayenne pepper give this sauce complex flavor. For a spicier sauce, add extra cayenne pepper or a bit of Sriracha or hot sauce. 

One thing you should be aware of: while cooking over a long period of time will reduce the alcohol content in the sauce, it won't completely eliminate it. Simmering the sauce for 20 minutes should reduce the alcohol by approximately 60%. If you are serving people who can't tolerate alcohol, consider a ​molasses barbecue sauce.

This is an excellent sauce to use on brisket, baby back ribs, or a slow cooker pot roast, or brush the sauce on grilled burgers or chops.


  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1 cup brown sugar (packed)
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 teaspoons mustard (dry)
  • 1 cup Jim Beam Kentucky Straight Bourbon Whiskey
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (ground)
  • Optional: Dash liquid smoke

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Combine all ingredients in 2-quart saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring occasionally.

  3. Reduce heat to low; simmer uncovered 20 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.


  • For extra smoky flavor, add 1 teaspoon of liquid smoke to the sauce.
  • Reduce the sugar by about half for a less sweet sauce.

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