Our Best Maple-Bourbon BBQ Sauce


When you think of barbecue sauce, do you think of a store-bought bottle of the stuff? Well, we're here to change your tune. Barbecue sauce is not hard to make, and it's practically guaranteed to taste better than what's in the bottle. This mouth-watering maple-bourbon BBQ sauce is certainly no exception. Smoky, sweet and a kick of bourbon... prepare to lick your fingers.

Homemade maple-bourbon BBQ sauce 

Yield: 16-18 ounces


  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil (or olive oil)
  • ⅔ cup diced sweet onion
  • 2 teaspoons minced garlic
  • 1¾ cups fire-roasted diced tomatoes (or regular diced)
  • ¼ cup bourbon 
  • ¼ cup pure maple syrup
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon gluten-free tamari (or liquid aminos)
  • Few glugs of hot sauce
  • Salt to taste

Step 1

Preheat a medium pot/saucepan over medium heat with the oil. Once hot, add the onion and stir frequently until the onion softens, about 5 to 7 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for another minute.

Step 2

Add the tomatoes and stir. Then add the bourbon, maple syrup, vinegar, tomato paste, lemon juice, Worcestershire and tamari. Stir to combine and reduce heat to medium-low. Bring to a simmer and cover with the lid ajar if it starts to spatter. Keep at a low simmer, turning heat to low if needed.

Step 3

Cook, stirring every few minutes, for about 15 minutes. Add salt to taste (start with ¼ teaspoon) and a few glugs of hot sauce. 

Step 4

Blend with an immersion/stick blender if you want a smoother consistency, or leave as-is for a chunkier sauce. You can also process in a blender for a super-smooth sauce.

Step 5

Return to a low simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste and adjust flavor as needed.

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Our Best Maple-Bourbon BBQ Sauce