Blueberry Bourbon BBQ Sauce

I’m a barbecue sauce snob and have no problem admitting so. At the same time, I’m not a bourbon snob. I don’t even love bourbon. Truth be told, I barely like it. So why blueberry bourbon BBQ sauce? Bourbon is a small portion of the recipe. It adds a lot to the flavor without being overwhelming.

DISCLAIMER: I don’t know that all of the alcohol will dissipate while the sauce simmers. Maybe, but I don’t know.

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Maine is home to more than 90% of the world’s wild blueberry crops.  I stopped at a roadside stand on Rt 9 and bought seven quarts. If blueberries don’t grow locally you can find them fresh in the produce isle when they’re in season or you can buy them frozen. If frozen, thaw them and let the moisture drain. I put them on a cotton dish towel and roll them around gently to get the excess water off.

I’ve had a lot of fun working with this recipe. Give it a try! Let me know how you change the recipe if you do, and what you used it on. I use this specifically on meat. I’ll be sharing fruit bourbon sauces that aren’t barbecue that you can use on meats and even desserts.

This makes a great dipping sauce for poultry nuggets and fish sticks.

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I cooked half a wild turkey breast on the grill, slathered sauce all over both sides in the last few minutes, and gave it another minute on each side. We love homemade chicken nuggets and this was a perfect sauce to dip them in, much better than the standard ranch, blue cheese or sweet and sour dressings.

Print Recipe

Blueberry Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Blueberry Bourbon BBQ Sauce is an excellent match for pork, beef, wild game and poultry. Change up your cookout by adding this sauce to meat before or during cooking, or as a dipping sauce.

Add the bourbon. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half.

Stir in the blueberries, ketchup, cider vinegar, honey and molasses. Bring the mixture to a boil, turn back heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring a few times. Stir more often toward the end of the 20 minutes as the sauce thickens.


  1. Heat the olive oil in a small pan, then add the onion. Saute until translucent, then add the pepper and garlic. Stir until you smell the aroma of the onions, pepper and garlic, about 30 seconds.

    Next, add the bourbon to the onion and pepper
    and simmer uncovered until the liquid has reduced by half.

    Stir in the blueberries and other remaining ingredients. Simmer for approximately 20 minutes or until the sauce is almost to the consistency you like. It will thicken a little more as it cools.

  2. Adjust the quantity of peppers to suit the amount of heat you like. Do you at least a little hot pepper but if you’re not wild about heat, a few tablespoons will add flavor without a lot of fire.

Recipe Notes

You can make this up to two weeks ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. If making the sauce closer to the time of your barbecue, store it in the fridge for a total of two weeks. This sauce freezes well for two to three months.