Irish whiskey and BBQ sauce are a match made in heaven for beef, chicken, ribs, lamb, kebabs, burgers, sausages... anything you fancy!

It's the 4th of July weekend! I thought that I’d give you my special BBQ sauce and basting sauce recipes, which will help turn your barbecue into something really special.

Both sauces can be used for beef, chicken, ribs, lamb, kebabs, burgers, sausages – everything really except fish (you can if you wish - but I wouldn't).

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The first thing to note is that you should not coat your meat with your barbecue sauce until it is almost finished cooking. The reason for this is that the sugars and tomatoes in a BBQ Sauce will caramelize and burn on the outside of the meat before it is actually cooked on the inside.

Instead, you use a basting stock while it is cooking to keep it moist and add flavor. Use a 1” paintbrush to coat the basting sauce over the meat as it is cooking.

When your food is cooked, brush the BBQ sauce over the meat and then give it another few minutes on the grill to glaze and finish the flavoring.

Time to get grilling! (Getty Images)

Time to get grilling! (Getty Images)

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Irish whiskey basting sauce recipe


  • 50ml/ half cup Irish whiskey
  • 500ml/ 1-pint apple juice
  • 100ml/ 1 cup olive oil
  • 50ml/ quarter cup of malt vinegar
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 chicken stock cube
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp thyme
  • 1 tsp rosemary
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp salt


Simply put everything in a pot and bring to the boil. Turn off the heat and let it cool completely before using it to moisten your meats as they cook.

Irish whiskey BBQ sauce recipe


  • 50ml/quarter-cup olive oil
  • 1 medium onion
  • 5 cloves garlic
  • 1 red chili (deseeded)
  • 1 red pepper
  • 1 yellow pepper
  • 1 green pepper
  • 2x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
  • 50g/ 2 oz brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp honey
  • 50ml/quarter cup soy sauce
  • 300ml/ 2 cups tomato ketchup
  • 100ml/ 1 cup brown sauce
  • 1 tbsp Treacle
  • 1 tbsp Sesame OIl
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Worchester sauce
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice and zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tsp Tabasco sauce
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper
  • 100ml/ 1 cup water
  • 100ml/ 1 cup Irish whiskey


Chop all the vegetables roughly and put them into a large pot.

Add all the other ingredients. Bring everything to the boil.

Turn down the heat and simmer the sauce for 30 minutes.

Blitz the cooked sauce in a food processor and it's ready to use straight away or, if you have the time, put it in the fridge overnight to help the flavors develop.

Simply brush the sauce over your meat (when it is cooked to your liking) and give it another few minutes on the barbecue to let it add that shiny, crispy, tasty glaze that will have your guests licking their fingers with delight.

Both sauces can be used for beef, chicken, ribs, lamb, kebabs, burgers, sausages – everything really except fish (you can if you wish - but I wouldn't).

My BBQ Sauce is also excellent for rubbing on Chicken Wings for roasting in the oven.

Coat them well and cook, uncovered, in a pre-heated medium oven (around 150°C or 300°F) for about 25 minutes.

Both sauces can be made in advance and kept in the fridge for up to a week.


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What's your favorite Irish recipe? Let us know in the comments!

* Originally published in 2016, updated in May 2020.

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