Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

Smoky and sweet…

Bourbon is such a good BBQ sauce ingredient. The rich sweetness of this liquor plays very well with the fiery smokiness of chipotle peppers. Plus that adobo sauce those chipotle peppers were packed in adds a nice earthy touch to the sauce to boot.

And while chipotle bourbon BBQ sauce sounds a little more niche than more standard BBQ sauces, it’s actually quite versatile. It’s equally delicious on pork, chicken, or steak – whether as a marinade or a spicy sauce for pulled meats. And don’t forget about it as a dipping sauce for fried appetizers like chicken fingers or mozzarella sticks. Super yum.

Check our our other spicy bourbon BBQ sauce recipe as well. It uses the infamous Sriracha sauce as its fiery base.

chipotle bourbon bbq sauce

Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce

4.7 from 10 votes
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 40 mins
Total Time 50 mins


  • 1 1/4 cups ketchup
  • 1/4 cup bourbon
  • 1 chipotle pepper from chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1 yellow onion diced
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon dark brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon adobo sauce from chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon celery salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper


  • In a medium-sized soup pot (or high-sided sauce pan) over medium heat, melt the butter then add the yellow onion. Cook the onion until soft and translucent (approximately 5 minutes).
  • Add the minced garlic and continue to cook for 1 minute.
  • Add the ketchup, bourbon, chipotle pepper, adobo sauce, cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, honey, and dark brown sugar. Lower the heat to low and stir to combine.
  • Allow the sauce to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes over low heat.
  • Using an immersion blender, process the sauce until smooth.
  • Add the celery salt and black pepper. Stir to combine.
  • Remove from the heat and allow the sauce to cool to room temperature.
  • Use immediately or transfer into an airtight container and chill the sauce in the refrigerator for up to a week (the sauce will gain in spiciness during this time).


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See more of our spicy recipes…

UPDATE NOTICE: This post was updated on January 20, 2021 to include new content. It was originally published on March 29, 2018.