Recipes Main Courses Sauces and Marinades Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Molasses Barbecue Sauce

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 4

This molasses and bourbon sauce is a good alternative to store-bought sauces that rely heavily on artificial sweeteners and flavorings. Deep and dark, this sauce is a winner with burgers and beef.


  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar 
  • 1/4 cup molasses 
  • 1/4 cup bourbon 
  • 1/4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar 
  • 2 Tbs. tomato ketchup 
  • 1 Tbs. dry mustard 
  • 1 tsp. granulated garlic 
  • 1 tsp. chili powder 
  • 1 tsp. dried oregano 
  • 1 tsp. allspice 
  • 1 tsp. salt 
  • 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper  
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon 
  • Hot-pepper sauce, to taste 


In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the vinegar, molasses, bourbon, brown sugar, ketchup, mustard, granulated garlic, chili powder, oregano, allspice, salt, pepper, cinnamon and hot-pepper sauce. Bring to a boil, whisking to dissolve the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer until the sauce thickens, 15 to 20 minutes.

Use immediately, or cover tightly and refrigerate for up to 1 week. Makes 1 cup.

Adapted from Williams-Sonoma On the Grill, by Willie Cooper (Oxmoor House, 2009).