Root Beer BBQ Sauce


1 2-liter bottle root beer (my fave is A&W Rootbeer –its’ a childhood thing!)
1 ½ cups apple cider vinegar
½ cup ketchup (Don’t go cheap here – get the good stuff)
¼ cup yellow mustard
2 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 tbsp. Tabasco sauce
1 tsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter – reserved!

Put it all together:

  1. In a large, heavy-bottomed saucepan, cook the root beer until it has reduced down to about one cup. Use medium heat to do this. You don’t want to burn the root beer! This process should take about an hour or so.
  2. Once the root beer has reduced and is thick like syrup, gently whisk in the remaining ingredients, one at a time, until well combined. Reduce the heat down to low/medium and allow the sauce to simmer for about 20 minutes.
  3. Turn off the heat and stir in the unsalted butter until melted. You should have about 3-4 cups of wonderfully yummy BBQ sauce.
  4. Now, you have two options – use the sauce right now or bottle it up to use for later.
    • If you are going to use it now – get to cooking! Spread this sauce on your favorite grilled chicken, pork chops or ribs! Be careful to add it at the last 10 minutes of cooking time. Nobody wants to eat burnt food!
    • If you want to use it later, get yourself a few 8-ounce mason jars. Allow the sauce to cool for a bit before ladling it into the jars. Follow the proper instructions for canning!
    • You can also reserve some for use in a few days if you put the sauce into an airtight container and keep it in the fridge – but not for more than a week!

You could “cheat” on this recipe and start with 1 cup of root beer syrup. If you choose that route – you can skip the reducing step and just whisk all the ingredients together at the beginning and heat to a simmer. Personally, I think using the root beer soda tastes better….


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Picture of Lisa Bonner

Lisa Bonner

LisaB has been creating recipes since she learned to cook waaaaay back in the late 70s/early 80s and has written over 50 recipe books! Her fondest memories are hanging out in the kitchen with her Grampa Eddie, helping him to make his famous Jewish Apple Cake. You can find LisaB on Facebook by using #CheesecakeNation and #CookiesAreLife.

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