Cherry Barbecue Sauce

2 cups whole sweet cherries, pitted
1/4 cup unfiltered apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup thick Worcestershire sauce
1/4 cup chili sauce (like Heinz)
1/2 cup bourbon
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon mesquite liquid smoke
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
sea salt
freshly ground black pepper

Pulse all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Pour into a small saucepan and simmer on the lowest setting until heated through and it reduces and thickens, about 15-25 minutes. Allow to cool. Keeps in the fridge about a week in an air-tight container.

Yield: about 2 1/2 cups

My thoughts:

This was an amazing sauce. I love experimenting with barbecue sauces because I can make them ahead of time (and with little hands-on effort) and have them on hand for grilling or sandwiches or salads or whatever. I used cherries for this one because they are in season right now and really delicous. They added a ton of flavor and body to the sauce.

Note: It is easy to make a double batch of this sauce.


  1. It's a really good idea for cherries – I was just wondering what to do with some of mine 🙂 Though I don't have any sweet cherries in my garden, but I don't think they're too sour for barbacue sauce.. Well, we'll see 🙂

  2. Redd H from Salted Spoon

    Oh wow. This looks wonderful! I wish I had a cherry tree!

  3. Well, even the regular supermarket has them for under $2 lb so no cherry tree is needed!

  4. I love this I bet it will taste amazing on lamb chops or belly pork strips, yummy!

  5. Oh, wow! This looks fantastic! Yum…

  6. Jessica@AKitchenAddiction

    This sounds amazing! I need to get my hands on some cherries!

  7. My husband is the chef in the family. I just sent this to him because I love love love cherries and next week is my birthday. I really want this on something. Ribs maybe?

  8. My husband and I are always on the lookout for new barbecue sauce recipes. This is on our "To Try" list now.

  9. Art From My Table

    This looks really good. What would you recommend substituting for the bourbon if I couldn't use that?