Peach-Bourbon Barbecue Sauce | Sauced

Joshua Bousel

Fourth of July has become more than just celebrating our independence. As the country's number one grilling day of the year, it also honors the proud tradition of cooking outdoors over a live fire. Undoubtedly a lot of us serious eaters will keep that fire burning come tomorrow, but we have an opportunity to set ourselves apart from the frozen beef patties and uncased hot dogs that dominate the day in an unceremonious fashion. I've posted recipes galore for meats, sauces, and rubs for inspiration, but I have one more late entry to make your barbecue better than the next guy's: peach-bourbon barbecue sauce.

My qualm with fruity barbecue sauces is they rarely really feature fruit, often adding in fruit juice to a standard sauce recipe and calling it day. I took on fixing this trend with a mango-habanero sauce; it turned out so well that I used the same template to formulate this peach-bourbon variation.

Most importantly, the sauce needs to start out with real fruit. The base of this recipe is peeled and chopped ripe summer peaches. From there, the standard barbecue sauce is built with things like vinegar for tang, molasses for a deep sweetness, Worcestershire for depth, and habanero hot sauce for heat. A portion of bourbon gives this sauce an extra depth and rounds it out to something you can be proud to serve on the Fourth—it pairs especially well with grilled or smoked pork.