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Death Row Bourbon Sauce

Death Row Bourbon Sauce
1 vote, 5.00 avg. rating (89% score)
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Yield: 3-1/2 cups

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  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 1/2 cup whiskey, divided
  • 1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 3 tablespoons molasses
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 2 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce or
  • 1 tablespoon Tabasco
  • 1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon liquid smoke (optional)


In a medium-size saucepan, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the ketchup, 1/4 cup of the whiskey, vinegar, Worcestershire sauce, molasses, mustard, soy sauce, hot sauce or Tabasco, black pepper, and cayenne. Mix thoroughly. Cook for 2 hours in the smoker or add the liquid smoke and simmer for 20 minutes over low heat on the stovetop. Stir in the remaining 1/4 cup whiskey. Use as a baste or a finishing and table sauce on pork, beef, and chicken. This sauce also is good in baked beans. It will keep for several weeks in the refrigerator.
Updated Monday, March 24th, 2003

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One Response to Death Row Bourbon Sauce

  1. Anonymous May 25, 2005 at 7:01 pm #

    Our family has been using the same made-from-scratch BBQ sauce on spare ribs for about 40 years. Over time, it had evolved into a treasured heirloom. I just made up this recipe for use on a family vacation in a couple of weeks. I suspect it may well nudge the old one right out of the recipe box.

    I made a few minor alterations as follows:
    First I doubled it. We marinate our pre-boiled ( in water & one cup of vinegar) ribs overnight in the fridge (in large baggies) & need more sauce than we would if we just used it the conventional way. Besides, this sauce is so nice, you’ll want some in the freezer for quick use as a condiment.
    On a Denver omelet….Mmmmmm!
    On homebaked beans…steak & hamburgers. Oh. yeah!

    ~ I didn’t have any bourbon so I used scotch. That may have smoothed it out a tad.
    ~ Raspberry vinegar? In this podunk town?! I just added more white.
    Maybe next batch I’ll try a gloop of Grand Marnier.
    ~ I used honey dijon mustard instead of the plain.
    ~ Chipotle Tabasco vs plain for a more robust tang.
    ~ Used only half the recommended liquid smoke. A little goes a long way.
    ~ It’s now simmering on a flame spreader over low heat to thicken.

    I give it 4 1/2 stars. Nobody gets five in this lifetime.

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