The Ingredient You Haven’t Thought to Add to Your Barbecue Sauce

Barbecue sauce may just be the most controversial sauce in the cooking world. I can’t think of another type of food that shares a name yet varies so greatly. However, I can make it even more interesting; let me introduce you to tequila BBQ sauce.

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Whether it’s a bbq sauce from Texas, Kansas City or one of our favorite prepared barbecue sauces, there is always room to experiment and put your own spin on a classic. Of course, you can add additional spices and seasonings but when I change things up, I want people to stop and think “What is that flavor?” but in a good way. That’s when I reach for the tequila.

Picking the Right Tequila

The trick is to add enough to notice it but not too much to where your chicken tastes like it just got off a spring break party barge. This would be the time to reach for the bottle you use for blended margaritas, such as a blanco or reposado tequila. Look for something with a little personality that’s not too expensive.

Personally, I like to use a blanco tequila, such as Jose Cuervo Especial Silver Tequila, because the flavor is bold and can stand up to the heartiest bbq sauce. Reposado tequilas tend to be smoother and can get overpowered by a strong sauce, but if you have a mild sauce feel free to grab something like Espolòn Tequila Reposado.

How to Make Tequila BBQ Sauce

All you need to do is simmer two cups of your favorite barbecue sauce with two to four tablespoons of tequila until it’s as thick as you like it. Now comes the important step; taste it! If it’s not potent enough for you, add another shot and simmer again.

You’re now ready to use it in any recipe that calls for barbecue sauce. If you don’t use it all, simply refrigerate it for up to two weeks.

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James Schend
Formerly Taste of Home’s Deputy Editor, Culinary, James oversaw the Food Editor team, recipe contests and Bakeable, and managed all food content for Trusted Media Brands. He has also worked in the kitchen of Williams-Sonoma and at Southern Living. An honor graduate of The Culinary Institute of America, James has traveled the world searching for great food in all corners of life.