Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce

This Recipe was adapted from The All New Ball Book of Canning and Preserving.  Yields 1-1/2 pints.  I would double the recipe if you plan to can it, just so it makes it worth it.  This would make an awesome gift as well since it is more of a “gourmet BBQ sauce”.


Cherry Bourbon BBQ Sauce
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  • 1 cup dried tart cherries
  • 1/3 cup bourbon
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup firmly packed dark brown sugar
  • 1-1/2 cups tomato sauce
  • 1 tablespoon dry mustard
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon prepared horseradish (optional)


Combine cherries and bourbon in a microwave safe bowl. Cover and microwave on high for 30 seconds and set aside.

Saute onion in hot olive oil in a medium stainless steel or enameled saucepan over medium-high heat for 5 to 7 minutes, or until onion is tender. Add paprika and garlic; cook, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Stir in vinegar and brown sugar; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until syrupy.

Stir in tomato sauce, next 4 ingredients from list, and, if desired, horseradish. Bring to a simmer; cover and cook 20 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add reserved cherry mixture, simmer uncovered for 5 minutes, stirring often. Remove from heat and cool.

Process sauce in a blender or use an immersion blender until smooth.

The following steps are if you would like to can the sauce. Return sauce to the saucepan and bring to a boil. Ladle hot sauce into a hot jar, leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Remove air bubbles. Wipe jar rim. Center lid on jar. Apply band and adjust to fingertip tight. Place jar in boiling-water canner. Repeat until all jars are filled.

Process jars 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Turn off heat; remove lid, and let jars stand 5 minutes. Remove jars and cool.