Honey Whiskey Barbecue Sauce

I made us this homemade honey whiskey barbecue sauce. Slather it on your next barbecued ribs or chicken, you’ll love it! So delicious!

Guess what I made?

Honey Whiskey Barbecue Sauce l SimplyScratch.com

Yup… more barbecue sauce. Oh and ribs. Now the ribs could have used a little more char in my opinion but the sauce… oh that sauce… I could slather a shoe in it and be quite alright with it.

Remember when I made this homemade ketchup? Well I was thinking that I just had to put it to good use, ya know “twist my arm”. And I’m not talking about putting it on a hot dog or burger. Uh-huh-huh NO, I’m talking barbecue sauce.  Whiskey barbecue sauce. So while you could totally use reg-o ketchup… why would you? I mean if you’re going to make a kick-butt sauce why not go all the way? Making your own ketchup is sooooooooo easy and once you cross into the realm of making your own… you won’t go back. Evah.

To make this barbecue sauce start by halving an onion and slicing it into strips.

And simply drop those into a sauce pan.

Smash and peel four cloves of garlic.

And have them join the onions in the pot.

Add in the 3/4 cup of Honey Whiskey which you should be able to find at your local super market… but if you can’t, buy the whisky bourbon variety. It’s all good in the hood… bourbon whiskey can totally be substituted in this recipe.

Set the pot over medium-high…

And then bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes or so.

Meanwhile add the two cups of homemade ketchup.

Next pour in the cider vinegar.

Then measure and add in the brown sugar.

Next pour in the Worcestershire sauce.

Then add a teaspoon (up to 1 tablespoon) of Frank’s Red Hot or any hot sauce you fancy.

Lastly add in a 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt and black pepper.

Then stir it all up so everything is gelling.

Next, by now the whiskey should have reduce a smidgen and the onions and garlic are soft.

Then add in the ketchup/brown sugar mixture and give it a good stir.

Next, simmer the sauce for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Then pour the sauce through a strainer that has been set inside a large bowl.

Lastly, make sure you scrape the bottom of the strainer before you discard the onions and garlic.

Honey Whiskey Barbecue Sauce l SimplyScratch.com

Boom. Sauce.

Honey Whiskey Barbecue Sauce l SimplyScratch.com

Slather the Honey Whiskey Barbecue Sauce on your wings, ribs or really anything that calls for barbecue sauce. Amen.

Enjoy! And if you give this Honey Whiskey Barbecue Sauce recipe a try, let me know by snapping a photo and tagging me on twitter or instagram!

My cookbook Simply Scratch : 120 Wholesome Homemade Recipes Made Easy is now available! CLICK HERE for details and THANK YOU in advance! 

Yield: about 3 cups

Honey-Whiskey Barbecue Sauce

Honey-Whiskey Barbecue Sauce
Barbecue sauce just got a wakeup call... and it called for whiskey.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes


  • 1/2 a large sweet onion, sliced vertically into strips
  • 4 cloves fresh garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 3/4 cup honey whiskey or bourbon
  • 2 cups homemade ketchup
  • 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon to 1 tablespoon Frank's Red Hot Sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  1. In a sauce pan; add the slice onions, smashed garlic and the whiskey. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook until the onions and garlic have softened, about 10 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile combine the homemade ketchup, vinegar, Worcestershire, brown sugar, hot sauce, salt and pepper. Stir well until all is combined.
  3. Once the onions and garlic are softened, add the ketchup mixture. Stir and simmer for 20 minutes.
  4. Pour the barbecue sauce into a mesh strainer that is set inside a large bowl. Remove and discard the garlic and onion pieces.
  5. Use right away in any recipe calling for barbecue sauce or cool and store in an airtight jar for up to two weeks.
[this post contains affiliate links.]

    Pin It

37 Responses to “Honey Whiskey Barbecue Sauce”

  1. #
    DB-The Foodie Stuntman — August 8, 2012 at 6:47 am

    Sweet sauce!

  2. #
    Kathryn — August 8, 2012 at 8:36 am

    Oh goodness me, this both looks and sounds amazing!

  3. #
    Poetesswug — August 8, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Ooooo! That looks soooo good!

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 10th, 2012 @ 4:35 am

      Thanks 🙂

  4. #
    Kay @ The Church Cook — August 8, 2012 at 12:55 pm

    Char or no char, that looks just amazing, Laurie! Even at 9 am with my tea! 🙂

  5. #
    Rachel Cooks — August 8, 2012 at 12:56 pm

    This looks like barbecue sauce perfection!

  6. #
    Eliana — August 8, 2012 at 2:08 pm

    I can never get enough BBQ sauce. Love the zing of bourbon in this creation. Looks super delish.

  7. #
    Heather (Heather's Dish) — August 8, 2012 at 3:32 pm

    i would probably try to bury my face in that pot of sauce. FEED ME!

  8. #
    Ann — August 8, 2012 at 4:05 pm

    Mmmm…We just had ribs two nights ago but I think this calls for a repeat! Looks delicious!

  9. #
    Stacey — August 8, 2012 at 4:07 pm

    you have just solved my conundrum for my Sunday dinner!!! Can’t wait to try it!!! 🙂

  10. #
    Elana @ The Inventive Vegetarian — August 8, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    OMG, this sauce looks amazing! I’m just starting to venture into cooking with whiskey, and I can’t wait to try this! I seemed to have discovered your blog at the perfect time 🙂

  11. #
    Anna @ Crunchy Creamy Sweet — August 8, 2012 at 7:03 pm

    Just gotta make it! Hubs will looooooove it 😀

  12. #
    Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious — August 9, 2012 at 1:40 am

    Best. BBQ. Sauce. Ever.

    Enough said 🙂

  13. #
    Julie @ Table for Two — August 9, 2012 at 1:48 am

    LOVE the addition of whiskey in this, Laurie!! wow, what a great sauce to slather over some ribs!

  14. #
    Krysten @ Mrs. Schwartz's Kitchen — August 9, 2012 at 12:54 pm

    This looks so good! I have yet to make my own BBQ sauce (GASP, I Know!)

  15. #
    sally @ sallys baking addiction — August 9, 2012 at 12:59 pm

    Whenever I’m choosing a BBQ sauce, it’s gotta have HONEY! Bu tI’ve never seen or heard of throwing whiskey into the mix. Between this and your homemade ketchup… you’re the condiment queen! 🙂

  16. #
    Erin @ Dinners, Dishes and Desserts — August 9, 2012 at 1:58 pm

    Honey Whiskey – oh my heavens!!! Just give me a bowl and a spoon and I am good!

  17. #
    Cassie — August 9, 2012 at 3:15 pm

    My husband is such a huge BBQ sauce fan. He’s been working on his own sauce for a while now, I’m definitely sharing this with him, he’s a pretty big whiskey fan!

  18. #
    Christina @ Sweet Pea's Kitchen — August 10, 2012 at 12:08 am

    Homemade bbq sauce is soooo much better than the bottles stuff! This looks delcious…wish I had some for dinner tonight! 🙂

  19. #
    Amber Genise — August 10, 2012 at 4:54 pm

    I can wait to try this recipe next week for my blog:prettybluerose.com. Your blog is fab, keep up the good work. The pictures are great!


  20. #
    Diana — August 11, 2012 at 2:49 am

    Oh my!!! This goes beyond delicious, I’m drooling!! Have a nice week!! 😀

  21. #
    Dennis Blair — August 13, 2012 at 9:33 am

    Oh it’s the sauce I wanted you got me out of jail . I don’t know how to thank you . Really cool barbecue sauce.

  22. #
    Kari@Loaves and Dishes — August 13, 2012 at 4:04 pm

    I luv brown sugar in a bbq sauce. This is definitely finger lickin’ sauce.

  23. #
    Grand Mama — August 30, 2012 at 11:57 am

    Made this recipe to go with my bbq’d pork chops…fabulous!!

  24. #
    SpecialK — September 22, 2012 at 8:50 pm

    I can’t express how amazing this sauce is! It is sweet, spicy, and tangy. I love the addition of the whiskey. My eyes and mouth were watering as I strained the sauce. Most importantly, I am so proud that I made a way better scratch version of barbecue sauce!

  25. #
    Julie D. — August 19, 2013 at 9:37 pm

    I was going to make my family wait until tomorrow for their whiskey chicken because I was going to make the homemade ketchup tonight. Well, thanks to exploding tomato paste cans I had to nix that idea & use regular store bought ketchup. (at the first turn of the can opener, tomato paste exploded out of the can & all over the counter & cupboards. All the other cans hissed or exploded out their contents as I opened them, so it’s a good bet they contain some contaminant. They expired 3 years ago. I’m not a big user of tomato paste.) It’s on the stove now & it smells divine. I cannot wait to taste it. We are having whiskey chicken TONIGHT. Yum!

    • simplyscratch replied: — August 20th, 2013 @ 10:46 am

      Oh my gosh Julie! That’s crazy! I hope you liked the sauce 🙂

  26. #
    Julie D. — August 31, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Yes, the sauce was a hit. My family loved it. I’ve made it twice now & have used it in the oven & on the grill. Both times the chicken came out fantastic. One son, who is an absolute connoisseur of everything tasty, says this is the BEST BBQ sauce he’s ever tasted. I have purchased 2 new cans of tomato paste so the next batch will contain from scratch ketchup. This is a keeper & my go-to recipe for all things BBQ from now on. Now if I can just keep the Jack Daniels hidden. lol!

    • simplyscratch replied: — September 1st, 2013 @ 5:18 pm

      I’m so glad Julie! Thanks for coming back and leaving a comment… much appreciated! Have a great weekend!

  27. #
    Dorina — May 20, 2014 at 3:32 pm

    This is simmering on my stove and it smells and tastes delicious! I was looking for a whiskey, honey bbq recipe. The only thing I changed due to this was adding about 1/4 cup of honey to the whiskey and a few shakes of liquid smoke. I have never successfully made bbq sauce but this one is going in my recipe box it is soo good and easy! Thank you!!!

  28. #
    salim jett — May 24, 2014 at 11:45 pm

    I just made this! I thought i had worschester sauce but i didn’t, so i used soy sauce. And i’m not into refined sugars so i used honey…(same measurements) came out awesome! Having a party in the noon, hope they like it! Thanks!

  29. #
    Drew UK — December 11, 2014 at 10:29 am

    Just made this – WOW. Very powerful gear

  30. #
    Jensen Russell — July 30, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    Made this sauce today for a BBQ later on tonight, just beautiful. Thank you.

  31. #
    Angiem — July 2, 2016 at 8:32 am

    Would subbing garlic & onion powder work, for the garlic & onion?

    • Laurie McNamara replied: — July 2nd, 2016 @ 8:36 am

      I haven’t tried it, so it’s hard for me to say. But if you give it a go, please let me know how it worked for you! 🙂

  32. #
    Russell — February 24, 2017 at 4:12 pm

    Thanks for the recipe!
    Really nice and tangy.
    I did have to improvise a bit.
    I doubled the recipe, and used 3 cups of HUNTS 100% Natural ketchup with one cup of clover honey, and (of course) Bourbon whiskey.
    Can’t wait until my baby back ribs are done!

Leave a Comment