How-to BBQ: Southern Comfort BBQ sauce recipe

How-to BBQ: Southern Comfort BBQ sauce recipe

This is just a quick Southern Comfort (or any Bourbon you like really - SC is quite sweet and works well, but there’s plenty of sweetness in BBQ sauce anyway so it could easily be swapped straight out for Jack Daniels or anything you fancy - just please don’t use an expensive single malt in there!)

Earlier in the year we had a quick and easy homemade BBQ sauce recipe, and this one is really similar. There’s not much more to say about it other than its another example of how you can add your own twists to the sauce to make it your own - either for your tastes or what you have in the cupboards.

Here in the UK, almost all barbecue sauces you can buy are traditional ketchup based - so assuming that is the style you are aiming for, there are just a few core components to consider:

  • the ketchup - this is the base of this style of sauces
  • the sweetener - could be sugar, honey, syrup, molasses - these all bring different flavours to the sauce so play around. You could also throw in something fruit based if you fancy a more fruit-y sauce!
  • the vinegar - adds the characteristic tang to offset the sweetness. I pretty much always go for cider vinegar, and definitely wouldn’t recommend a more expensive vinegar, but you can play about with the levels
  • the spices - chilli powder, dried chillies, fresh chillies, mustard, pepper etc
  • Special extras - have some fun here, the Southern Comfort falls into this category - fennel, star anise, chocolate, alcohol, bacon, whatever really!

So have some fun, adjust the levels, add interesting ingredients and see what you like - it takes about 30 minutes cook time, so really easy to adjust and taste as you cook.

  • 1 bottle
  • 5 minutes
  • 30 minutes


  • 400ml tomato sauce (I just use a Sainsburys own brand)
  • 50ml Southern Comfort
  • 1 table spoon yellow mustard (just normal hot-dog mustard, like Frenchs)
  • 1 table spoon chilli powder
  • 80g sugar
  • 60ml cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 60ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika


  1. Place all ingredients except the ketchup in a non-reactive metal saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring constantly to combine and let the sugars dissolve.
  2. Once dissolved, add the ketchup and a tablespoon of water, bring back to a simmer and continue to simmer for 30 minutes, or until it has reached your preferred consistency (if in doubt, just the usual consistency of BBQ sauce or ketchup is good)
  3. Remove from the heat, store in sterilised jars or bottles. This can be stored in a similar way to jams or chutneys, store in a dark, cool place and keep refrigerated once opened.

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