Smoky Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

. November, 2015
Photography by Sarah Tuck.
Smoky Bourbon Barbecue Sauce

Christmas goes hand-in-hand with lazy days at the beach and gatherings with friends. This sauce is your secret weapon for adding a kick to barbecue season. It pairs particularly well with pork – try it with spare ribs, sausages or hamburgers, and team with grilled corn, coleslaw, a potato salad and soft rolls for a holiday feast. It’s ideal as a marinade too. It’s the perfect holiday gift to take away to the bach, as it keeps well for two weeks in the fridge.


2 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions, chopped
2 cups brown sugar
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ cup American mustard
3 x 400 gram tins chopped tomatoes in juice
2 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup cider vinegar
¼ cup maple syrup
2-3 teaspoons sweet smoked paprika
½ teaspoon ground cloves
3 tablespoons plain flour
pinch cayenne pepper (to taste)
½ teaspoon allspice
salt and pepper 
⅓ cup bourbon
1 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)


Heat the oil in a large heavy-based pot over a medium/gentle heat. Add the onion and cook for 10 minutes until softened but not coloured. 

Add all the remaining ingredients, whisking to incorporate the flour. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered for 35 minutes. 

Tip the sauce into a food processor and blend until as smooth as you like. (I like to leave a bit of texture in mine.) Cool and store in sealed containers in the fridge. It will keep for two weeks, refrigerated. Makes 8 cups.