Spicy Barbecue Sauce

Summary: Tom and I found a version of this fantastic recipe years ago and have been adapting it to our taste ever since. It lifts grilled chicken to greater heights!
This is fiery, so if you want less heat, reduce the amount of hot paprika and/or cayenne. 

Yield: ~1 cup


  • 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • ⅓ cup chopped celery
  • 3 cloves minced garlic
  • ½ tablespoon hot paprika
  • ½ tablespoon sweet paprika
  • ¼-½ teaspoon cayenne pepper, depending on your tolerance for spicy heat
  • ¾ cup ketchup
  • ½ cup beer (not Bud or Miller or some such water-beer)
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1½ jigger Bourbon, divided


Heat vegetable oil in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat. Add onion, celery and 1 jigger of Bourbon and saute until tender, about 5 minutes.

Add garlic, paprikas and cayenne; stir 1 minute. Add ketchup, beer, vinegar, rest of Bourbon, honey and Worcestershire sauce. Reduce heat to medium-low.

Simmer uncovered until flavors are well blended and sauce is slightly reduced, stirring occasionally, about 30 minutes. This saves well; cover and refrigerate if not using immediately or in near future.