Bourbon and Coke BBQ Sauce

Rather than get lost in the sauce this season, be the one who makes it. This recipe by chef Justin Gottselig of No. 246 in Decatur, Ga transforms a cocktail classic into an all-star accompaniment. Serves 4.

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  • 1 Tbsp. butter
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 cup onion, minced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • ½ tsp. red pepper flakes
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 2 cups ketchup
  • 2 Tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup Coca-Cola
  • 2 Tbsp. brown sugar
  • ½ tsp. seasoned salt
  • ½ tsp. cayenne pepper
  • ½ tsp. Tabasco sauce
  • 1 tsp. grain mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


Night Before: In a medium sauce pot over medium heat, add butter and olive oil. When the butter is melted, add onions, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until onions and garlic are tender, about 3-4 minutes. Take the pot off the heat and add bourbon of choice, then place the pot back on the burner. Cook until mixture reduces by a quarter, about 1-2 minutes. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Reduce the heat to low and let the sauce simmer for about 30 minutes. Blend with an immersion blender to create a smooth barbecue sauce. Allow to cool and store in the refrigerator in an airtight plastic container.

Day of: Baste meats and vegetables to be grilled with room-temperature BBQ sauce and/or serve it on the side, either cold or at room temperature.

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