Jack Daniel’s Original No. 7, Hunt’s Original, Kraft Original, KC Masterpiece Original, Bull’s-Eye Original! Store-bought BBQ sauces offer a wide range of tastes and variety, sure…but why not develop your own experimental original? It’s a worthy condiment for any meat, and is also great to have in the fridge for spicing up any bland meal.
The ingredients vary widely, and there are different bases and sweetening agents that give each blend its own kick. Only in the United States, there are so many regional varieties with differing tastes! Most American BBQ sauces trace their origins to the traditional blends from the Carolinas which used vinegar, black pepper & hot chili flakes. In other regions, other ingredients such as tomato sauces, molasses, chipotle, mustard, & honey were added.
In an attempt to make my own version from scratch, I decided to search for a sweeter blend, which I knew would be a hit here at home. I am fully satisfied with this recipe. It’s sweet enough, spicy enough, and has just the right amount of tanginess to call itself BBQ sauce.
For the Sauce
- 3 tablespoons of white onion, diced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tablespoon of butter
- 1 cup (240g) of ketchup
- 1 cup (240ml) of orange juice, OR apple juice
- 1 tablespoon of hot sauce, OR 1 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
- 1 teaspoon hot chili flakes
- 1/2 cup (120ml) of bourbon whiskey, OR 1/4 cup (60ml) of white vinegar + 1/4 cup (60ml) of apple cider vinegar
- 1/4 cup of honey, OR molasses
- 1 tablespoon of sugar
- 1 tablespoon of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1/2 cup (120ml) of cola
- 1/2 cup (120ml) of water
Start off by sautéing the onion and garlic in the butter until gold and aromatic. Place in food processor with 2 tablespoons of water and purée completely. Add back to the pot and set to medium heat. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the cola and the water. I listed many different ingredient options for the recipe and I must say I have never been disappointed with either or. Like I said, BBQ sauces come in a wide array of flavors and tastes, so I believe there’s no going wrong if you stick to the right proportions of sweet and tangy!
Stir until the mixture is even and begins to boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and let simmer for 20 minutes. The acid of the vinegar (or the alcohol from the whiskey) will start to evaporate – hence, a strong pungent smell. The more you simmer, the less acid the sauce will be, so I let it stay there as long as necessary! The sauce will eventually start reducing, so keep stirring to see how the consistency looks.
I guess I like to tease myself, because just when the sauce seems to be done – the consistency is entirely up to you – that’s when I add the cola and the water. Just a little fizz for the sake of it, making the sauce watery again and so we begin the process of reduction all over again! This adds cooking time, which only makes this kind of sauce better, plus it adds a little more sweetness to it.
Once you reach your desired consistency, turn off the heat and let cool. The sauce is ready to be used as a marinade, dip, or for drizzling. This recipe will yield a good bottle full, feel free to double it so you can stock up!