Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce

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Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce is all about balance, flavor, and texture. And it blows your next favorite whiskey BBQ sauce out of the water! Whip up a double batch of this smoky BBQ sauce recipe, because you’ll want to slather it on everything.

titled: Jack Daniel's Double Kick Barbecue Sauce


Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce

Home chefs can all agree on this: making homemade sauces is more cost-effective and way tastier than anything you’ll buy at the grocery store.

Plus, you can make as much as you want, whenever you want! And, you have the flexibility to sprinkle in the spices and seasonings you like best. It’s a win-win!

Good (or great!) sauces can make or break your entire dish. Anything too runny, too tangy, too sweet, or too spicy overwhelms the whole plate. 

That’s not a worry with Jack Daniels barbecue sauce! Make a boatload to throw on everything you grill all summer long, and no one will be disappointed.

Don’t think it’s our only Jack Daniels recipe, though.

We’ve got a bacon mac and cheese that will blow your socks off, plus salted caramel brownies that will satisfy any sweet tooth!

measured ingredients for whiskey bbq sauce

Ingredients Notes and Substitutions

  • Jack Daniels Whiskey – No room for swapping this guy out! It’s how we get that iconic rich, sweet, and smoky flavor.
  • Ketchup and Tomato Sauce – Your favorite ketchup and plain ol’ tomato sauce are all you need to form the base of the Jack Daniels BBQ sauce.
  • Sugar – I like to use granulated sugar because it reduces easily and doesn’t affect the overall flavor too much.

    But, you have plenty of room for creativity with sweeteners!

    Brown sugar, honey, or your sugar-free sweetener of choice will fit right in.
  • Molasses – You want unsulfured molasses, which means it’s free of additives. No chemical aftertaste, no problems!
  • New Mexico Chili Powder – Not too hot, but hot enough to pack a punch!

    But, there’s more to this spicy seasoning than just heat: it has earthy, fruity undertones that add complexity and layers of yummy flavor.

    If you want to tone it down a bit, use half New Mexico and half regular chili powder.
  • Chili Pepper Paste – I use Gourmet Garden chili pepper paste, but any brand will do for this Jack Daniels recipe.

    If you can’t find any, you can add some cayenne pepper to some ketchup or tomato paste for the same consistency.
  • Worcestershire – Sour and sweet! It’s how we get that nice acidic tang.

    For a substitute, whip up a combo of ketchup, soy sauce, and vinegar. Add a bit of white or brown sugar to taste.
pouring sugar into a saucepan

Serving Suggestions for Jack Daniels Sauce

Summertime grill masters know that there’s no end to the ways that you can use Jack Daniels BBQ sauce!

It goes without saying that it’s beyond scrumptious on pulled pork, grilled chicken, bacon burgers, and pork chops.

And when you have some fries on the side, you can dip them right in! Who needs ketchup and mustard?

This smoky bbq sauce recipe is also so good on nachos! Any recipe with shredded chicken, beef, or pork can be totally doused in this stuff and come out perfect. Try it!

pouring Jack Daniels whiskey into sauce pan

Storage and Best Practices

Store Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce in the fridge — I mean it!

I know there’s a debate as to whether or not you really need to refrigerate barbecue sauces, but I’m not budging here.

Sauces always last longer and retain their flavor best when refrigerated. It’ll last you a couple of weeks, unless you eat it all!

I recommend getting some squeeze bottles for easy use time and time again. It’s way less messy than spooning Jack Daniels sauce out of a jar!

whisk next to saucepan with bbq sauce ingredients

Jack Daniels Barbecue Sauce FAQ

How much whiskey is in Jack Daniels sauce?

For this recipe, we use 1 cup of Jack Daniels to make 6 cups of sauce.

What does Jack Daniels barbecue sauce taste like?

The whiskey makes it smoky and smooth, while the sugar and molasses add just enough sweetness to tone down the tangy Worcestershire.

A dash of New Mexico Chile Powder and some chili pepper paste add plenty of heat, making it a singularly spectacular sauce you can use on all of your go-to summertime recipes.

How can I thicken homemade BBQ sauce?

There are a couple of ways! The easiest way is to simmer, thicken, and reduce for a longer period of time in the pan. Now, this will also result in less sauce overall, since you’re, well, reducing it.

You can mix equal amounts of cornstarch and water to make a slurry, then whisk it right into the pan. Repeat as needed until the thickness is to your liking.

Does the alcohol cook out of Jack Daniels BBQ sauce?

Yes, it does! While the sauce boils and simmers in the pan, the alcohol cooks off. This leaves the rich whiskey flavor behind without the boozy side effects!

pouring whiskey bbq sauce into jar

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spooning bbq sauce out of jar with some dripping down the sides

Other Barbecue Sauce Recipes

jack daniels bbq sauce in mason jar

Best Ever Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce (Homemade Recipe)

Donna Elick
Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce is luscious, rich, and oh-so-tasty. This smoky BBQ sauce recipe is a sweet and spicy condiment for any grilled meat!
5 stars from 3 reviews
Tried this recipe?Please comment and review!
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Course Sauce
Cuisine American
Method Stovetop
Servings 6 cups


  • 2 1/2 cups ketchup
  • 16 ounces tomato sauce, 2 8-ounce cans
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup Jack Daniels Whiskey
  • 3/4 cup molasses, unsulfured
  • 2-3 tablespoons chili pepper paste, I used Gourmet Garden
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 tablespoon New Mexico chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper


  • In a large sauce pan over medium heat combine all ingredients. Whisk to combine well. Bring to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 1 hour, stirring occasionally.
  • Serve and enjoy!


Serving: 1 | Calories: 514cal | Carbohydrates: 99g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 1525mg | Sugar: 90g | Fiber: 2g | Calcium: 125mg | Iron: 4mg

All nutritional information is based on third party calculations and is only an estimate. Each recipe’s nutritional value will vary depending on the ingredients used, measuring methods, and portion sizes.

Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!
titled image (and shown): jack daniels doublekick bbq sauce

Originally published August 2013, updated and republished July 2023

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    1. Yes, chili pepper paste. It is available in the international aisle by the Italian and/or Asian food products. There is also a fresh version in the produce department (that is what I used).

      Thank you!

  1. Donna, how long does this keep in the frig? And, can this sauce be canned/jarred and stored as I do fresh tomatoes?–the ingredients seem to be OK for canning.

  2. I have made this BBQ sauce, numerous times. Yes you can, can this sauce. I just put boiling sauce in hot jars. No need to put in boiling bath. Make sure lids seal. Once open, refrigerate, will keep for at least 2 months.

  3. I love giving home cooked sauces and jams for gifts. How long can I tell this sauce keeps?
    Also, what is the best way to conserve it? I love pretty glass jars but would I have to really disinfect them before or would it be enough just to first wash them and then dip them in boiling water?
    I doubt that I get the lids on so that they would be hermetically sealed though, can it be a problem ?

  4. I wonder if a sugar substitute would work? Also, what would be a low sugar substitute for the molasses? My wife and I are diabetic and need to lower the sugar content in this to use it.


    1. Try Monk sugar. It's 1:1 with regular granulated sugar. You can bake with it as well. Better than Stevia!

  5. Thanx for this recipe! I will be adding it to my repetoire for holiday gifts. I make everything homemade for my children (adults) at their request and I know they will love this.

  6. I hear that the alcohol leaves quickly when whisky is cooked. I don't drink any alcohol, so I'm wondering if this becomes alcohol free when cooked as directed?

  7. if you have samag it will be a great mix also if you havr 3 colour of the red .green .yellow cold chilli sauce with lemon juice…

  8. Even though i know its meant to have jack in it but can this be done without the booze or even with some kind of sub…… I know people will say it cooks out… yes i agree…. id still like to have the option of not having to purchase a bottle… just to try out this recipe ….im a serious no alcohol kind of person…. so even though it cooks out its important to me for it to be omitted fully if possible!

  9. Hello! Can you please be more specific about "chili pepper paste." I'm Mexican and for me there are a bazillion kinds of chilis! LOL Thanks!

  10. 5 stars
    I like making my own pasta sauces, so I wanted to try making a bbq sauce. I never thought of Jack Daniels in a bbq sauce, but it is wonderful! It adds such great flavor.

  11. 5 stars
    I WISH I had molasses. I had to sub honey so I know I’m missing some of that caramel flavor but this recipe turned out fantastic. My new favorite bbq sauce 💕

    Thank you for this recipe!

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