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Southern Peach, Onion & Bourbon BBQ Sauce


This Southern Peach, Onion & Bourbon BBQ Sauce is a sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy sauce that will elevate your grilled meats to a new level. Combining fresh peaches, vidalia onions, dark molasses, and a splash of bourbon, this sauce is perfect for slathering on ribs, chicken, or pulled pork. Let’s dive into this flavorful recipe and learn how to make it step-by-step.



  • 2 cups fresh peaches, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups chopped vidalia onion
  • 1/2 cup dark molasses
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons ground ancho chili pepper
  • 1/4 cup dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 small chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce, seeds removed
  • 1/4 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup bourbon
  • 1 tablespoon minced garlic
  • 4 cups ketchup


Step 1: Prepare the Ingredients

  1. Chop and Peel:
    • Peel and chop 2 cups of fresh peaches and 2 cups of vidalia onions.
    • Remove the seeds from 2 small chipotle chili peppers in adobo sauce and chop them finely.

Step 2: Sauté the Onions and Peaches

  1. Heat the Oil:
    • In a large saucepan, heat 2 tablespoons of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat.
  2. Add Onions and Peaches:
    • Add the chopped vidalia onions and peaches to the saucepan. Sauté until the onions are translucent and the peaches are softened, about 5-7 minutes.
  3. Add Garlic:
    • Add 1 tablespoon of minced garlic to the saucepan and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until fragrant.

Step 3: Add Remaining Ingredients

  1. Combine Ingredients:
    • Add the 1/2 cup of dark molasses, 2 tablespoons of ground ancho chili pepper, 1/4 cup of dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon of salt, the chopped chipotle chili peppers, 1/4 cup of Worcestershire sauce, 2 tablespoons of unsalted butter, 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar, 1 cup of water, 1 tablespoon of smoked paprika, 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground black pepper, and 1 cup of bourbon to the saucepan. Stir well to combine.
  2. Add Ketchup:
    • Stir in 4 cups of ketchup until everything is well mixed.

Step 4: Simmer the Sauce

  1. Simmer:
    • Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer gently for about 30-45 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce has thickened and the flavors have melded together.

Step 5: Blend the Sauce

  1. Blend Until Smooth:
    • Using an immersion blender, blend the sauce until it is smooth. If you don’t have an immersion blender, you can carefully transfer the sauce to a regular blender in batches and blend until smooth.

Step 6: Adjust Consistency and Seasoning

  1. Adjust Thickness:
    • If the sauce is too thick, you can thin it out with a little more water or apple cider vinegar until it reaches your desired consistency.
  2. Season to Taste:
    • Taste the sauce and adjust the seasoning with additional salt, pepper, or chipotle chili peppers if you prefer more heat.

Step 7: Store and Serve

  1. Cool and Store:
    • Let the sauce cool completely. Transfer it to an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.
  2. Serve:
    • Use this Southern Peach, Onion & Bourbon BBQ Sauce to glaze ribs, chicken, pulled pork, or any of your favorite grilled meats. Enjoy the sweet, tangy, and slightly spicy flavors!

Cooking Notes and Tips

  • Peaches: Fresh peaches are best for this recipe, but you can use frozen or canned peaches if fresh ones are not available. Just be sure to drain them well.
  • Bourbon: Use a good quality bourbon for the best flavor. The alcohol will cook off, leaving behind a rich, smoky flavor.
  • Blending: Blending the sauce ensures a smooth, even texture. Be careful when blending hot liquids to avoid splatters.


Spicy Peach Bourbon BBQ Sauce

  • Extra Heat: Add an extra chipotle chili pepper or a teaspoon of cayenne pepper for more spice.

Smoky Peach Bourbon BBQ Sauce

  • Smoky Flavor: Add an extra tablespoon of smoked paprika or a few drops of liquid smoke for a more pronounced smoky flavor.

Peach Mango BBQ Sauce

  • Fruity Twist: Replace half of the peaches with chopped mango for a tropical twist.

Serving Suggestions

Grilled Meats

  • Ribs: Brush the sauce on ribs during the last few minutes of grilling for a sticky, flavorful glaze.
  • Chicken: Use the sauce as a marinade for chicken thighs or breasts, or serve it on the side for dipping.
  • Pulled Pork: Mix the sauce into pulled pork for a sweet and tangy BBQ flavor.

Side Dishes

  • Coleslaw: Serve alongside a tangy coleslaw for a perfect BBQ pairing.
  • Baked Beans: Use the sauce to flavor baked beans for a delicious side dish.
  • Cornbread: Drizzle the sauce over cornbread for a sweet and savory treat.


Q: Can I make this sauce ahead of time? A: Yes, this sauce can be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. It actually tastes better as the flavors have more time to meld together.


Q: Can I freeze this BBQ sauce? A: Yes, you can freeze this sauce. Let it cool completely, then transfer it to a freezer-safe container and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator overnight before using.

Q: How do I make the sauce thicker? A: If you prefer a thicker sauce, let it simmer longer to reduce, or add a slurry made from 1 tablespoon of cornstarch mixed with 2 tablespoons of water.

Q: Can I use a different type of vinegar? A: Yes, you can use white vinegar or balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar, but keep in mind that it may slightly alter the flavor profile.

Q: Is this sauce spicy? A: The sauce has a mild to medium heat from the chipotle chili peppers. Adjust the amount of chili peppers to your taste.

This Southern Peach, Onion & Bourbon BBQ Sauce is a versatile and delicious addition to your grilling repertoire. With its blend of sweet peaches, tangy onions, and smoky bourbon, it’s sure to become a favorite. Whether you’re slathering it on ribs, basting chicken, or mixing it into pulled pork, this sauce adds a burst of flavor to any dish. Enjoy making and sharing this homemade BBQ sauce with your family and friends!