A jar of coffee-bourbon BBQ sauce with a bottle of Maker's Mark and glass of coffee beans in the background.

Coffee-Bourbon BBQ Sauce

  • Author: Amanda McGrory-Dixon
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: About 4 cups 1x


Step up your summer grilling game with this homemade BBQ sauce! Spicy, smoky and complex with a boozy punch, this coffee-bourbon BBQ sauce perfectly complements any grilled meat. After one taste, I have no doubt this will become your new favorite BBQ sauce.



1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
3 garlic cloves, grated or minced
3/4 cup coffee, preferably dark roast
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/3 cup unsulphured molasses, not blackstrap
1/4 cup real maple syrup
1/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon chipotle chili powder (see blog if sensitive to heat)
1 tablespoon espresso powder
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon mustard powder
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup bourbon


  1. In a medium saucepan, stir together the tomato sauce and paste until it become one cohesive mixture.
  2. Stir in the garlic, coffee, apple cider vinegar, molasses, maple syrup, dark brown sugar, chipotle chili powder, espresso powder, Worcestershire sauce, mustard powder, smoked paprika, cumin, onion powder and salt. Bring to a simmer over medium heat. Continue to simmer until the mixture slightly thickens, stirring often to prevent burning. If necessary, you can turn down the heat but maintain a simmer. Cooking time generally takes about 15-20 minutes.
  3. Turn off heat. Stir in bourbon. Cool and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Enjoy!


  • For full tips, please see blog post.
  • Nutritional information is only an estimate. The accuracy of the nutritional information for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.
  • Category: Sauces
  • Method: Stove-Top
  • Cuisine: American


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 40
  • Sugar: 8
  • Sodium: 185
  • Fat: 0
  • Saturated Fat: 0
  • Unsaturated Fat: 0
  • Trans Fat: 0
  • Carbohydrates: 10
  • Fiber: 0
  • Protein: 0
  • Cholesterol: 0

Keywords: coffee-bourbon BBQ sauce