We’re going to let you in on a little secret.
But first, a quick word on barbecue sauce: whether you like to drench your smoked meats in it or simply garnish them with it for a hint of added flavor, every self-respecting barbecue restaurant has their own BBQ sauce. No two sauces are the same, either. Some restaurants make theirs in the tomato-based Kansas City style, while others opt for the bite of vinegar found in the St. Louis style. There are also sauces made in the Memphis and Texas styles, to name a few others.
And then you have Fahrenheit 250’s BBQ sauce.
When you live in the Farm-to-Fork Capital of the country, you just have to put a local spin on your barbecue sauce. At Fahrenheit 250, we make our sauce in-house from scratch using fresh vegetables and spices from the Sacramento region. Our goal was to create a traditional sauce that wasn’t overly sweet, but also had some flair to it. Since we didn’t want to rely on sugar or corn syrup for that added kick like other sauces, we had to use a secret ingredient to give our sauce that sweet, smoky flavor you’ve come to love. That secret ingredient? Bourbon.
We already know barbecue and bourbon are the perfect pairing, so it wasn’t a surprise that bourbon’s flavor profile would also match perfectly with barbecue sauce. Here are three ways bourbon fires up our sauce:
Both barbecue and bourbon get their distinct smoky flavors from wood. Great barbecue is smoked (not grilled!) in indirect heat for long periods of time (in our case, 12 hours at 250 degrees), while bourbon gets its smoky profile from aging it for extended periods of time in charred white oak barrels. That smokiness creates a tasty contrast with the sweet flavors found in barbecue sauce.
Touch of Sweetness
Speaking of sweet flavors, bourbon has just enough sugar to round out the other flavors vying for attention in a BBQ sauce. This complexity is a perfect pairing to mellow out the spicy flavors found in barbecued pork, bringing a satisfying sweetness to the dish.
Hints of Nutmeg and Cinnamon
Bourbon also features hints of nutmeg and cinnamon, which help boost the spicy kick of a barbecue sauce. With the spicy version of our main BBQ sauce, for example, the hints of nutmeg and cinnamon complement the freshly macerated habaneros blended into the sauce.
After reading this article, see if you can pick out the distinct bourbon flavors in our barbecue sauce the next time you join us for some ‘que. And if you want to try out how it might pair with some other dishes, you can buy our BBQ sauces for your own home cooking use.