bourbon maple bbq sauce


I’m vegetarian. BBQ sauce might seem irrelevant to me. It’s like the time my grandpa snatched the bottle of A-1 off the table (I was putting it on a baked potato). When I reassured him that it was okay, it was vegetarian, his reply was this: “I don’t care! It’s steak sauce! It’s just not right!” (Actually, my grandpa is a pretty sweet man, despite his aversion to vegetarians. He also told me once that he would disown me if I snuck any of that tofu stuff into his food).

Back to the sauce. Recently, I have been cooking with (and drinking!) more bourbon. It really has grown on me. So, I decided to give my go-to bbq sauce a boost. I slather this sauce on extra-firm tofu before baking it at 400 degrees. I also mix the sauce with canned pinto beans and toss them in the same oven, for some impromptu baked beans.

Make a batch. Put it on whatever you like. Enjoy!

Bourbon Maple BBQ Sauce


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 teaspoons ginger
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon dried mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup bourbon
  • 3/4 cup maple syrup
  • 1/8 cup blackstrap molasses
  • 1/8 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon veggie worchestire
  • 2 cans 15 oz. tomato sauce


  1. Finely dice the onion.
  2. Heat oil over medium heat in a medium-sized saucepan and add the onion. Cook until soft and beginning to turn a carmel color — about 10 minutes.
  3. Add all the dry spices and stir. Heating spices in oil helps them “bloom” and develop more robust flavors. Cook for 3 minutes.
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, or until the sauce has reduced by 1/4.
  5. Taste and adjust seasonings. The nice thing about this sauce is that you really can tinker around with it, until each batch tastes just right in the moment.
  6. Enjoy!

One Response to “bourbon maple bbq sauce”

  1. 1 Katherine Marino

    Ingenious recipe, it sounds DELICIOUS!

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