Posted: Sep 05, 2012 3:00 AM
Among the many summer grill pairings bourbon and barbecue are the best combination. There is just something about that tangy barbecue sauce and a good dose of whiskey. In true Southern tradition, baby back pork ribs are cooked to tender perfection and finished on the grill. The bourbon barbecue sauce becomes this fantastic, deep flavored sauce that keeps you coming back for more.

Just a few more weeks and we will be enjoying fall -- which means most of us will be packing up the beloved barbecue grill. As the weather is cooling down this is the right time to have your summer get-together. If you needed an excuse to throw another party, these perfect bourbon barbecue baby back ribs are it! Tender pork, falling off the bone, slathered in a rich bourbon barbecue sauce are perfect when served with some quickly-grilled potato chips. What are you waiting for?

Perfect Side^ Thinly slice a sweet potato, lay on a baking sheet and spritz with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Cook for 3-5 minutes on each side, until you see golden brown grill marks. Serve with ribs and enjoy!

Bourban BBQ ribs collage

Bourbon barbecue baby back ribs


  • 2 (1 pound) slabs baby back pork ribs
  • 1 recipe Little Kick spice rub (recipe below)
  • 1 recipe Bourbon barbecue sauce (recipe below)


  1. Preheat your oven to 300 degrees F.
  2. Lay each half rack of ribs on a sheet of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the ribs in. Rub each rack of ribs with the Little Kick spice rub. Wrap ribs in foil. Place on a baking sheet. Bake for 2-1/2 hours.
  3. Start the barbecue sauce 45 minutes before the ribs are done baking.
  4. Remove the ribs from the oven and preheat the grill to high. Allow the ribs to rest and grill to preheat for about 10 minutes. Grill the ribs for 3 to 4 minutes on each side. Brush the sauce on the ribs while you grill them, after they are turned the first time.
  5. Serve and enjoy!

Little Kick spice rub


  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chile de arbol (or substitute cayenne pepper)


  1. In a small bowl combine the chili powder, paprika, pepper, salt and chile de arbol.
  2. Stir to combine.
  3. Use the rub on pork, chicken or beef.

Bourbon barbecue sauce


  • 1/2 yellow onion, grated
  • 5 garlic cloves, diced or pressed
  • 3/4 cup bourbon whiskey
  • 20 ounces ketchup
  • 3/4 cup packed dark brown sugar
  • 3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon liquid smoke
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chile de arbol (substitute cayenne pepper)
  • 1 cup water


  1. In a large sauce pan over medium heat, combine the onion, garlic and bourbon. Simmer until the onion is translucent, about 8-10 minutes. Mix in the remaining ingredients, stir to combine. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer for 30 minutes.
  2. Smooth the sauce by using an immersion blender or pouring into a blender and processing until it is a smooth consistency.

More summer grilling recipes

Grilled breaded chicken sandwich
Fully loaded Tex-Mex sliders

3 Tasty recipes for a great summer meal