Ribs with Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce

Ribs with Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce slather baby back ribs with a finger-licking, sweet maple bourbon infused sauce.
Ribs with Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce

Ribs with Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce

By Sue Lau | Palatable Pastime

This week as part of Sunday Supper, I am doing a ribs recipe with a maple bourbon whiskey bbq sauce along with a specialized dry rub. You can grill the ribs with the dry rub alone, since some people do like dry spice ribs, but I always like the extra sauce so I made that up to go with as well. Of course you could skip the dry rub although I don’t know why you would. It adds so much more flavor. And of course you can always make the sauce up and use that on chicken or something like pork steaks or chops.

I do make my sauces from scratch since I don’t really see much point in just doctoring up some ketchup or plain barbecue sauce. As a cook, you get total control of the flavor the further back to the vine you go with the tomatoes. Of course, you could make up diced tomatoes from your garden too, but considering it has been snowing here these days of late, I doubt that’s going to happen.

If you do make up your sauce and simmer it over a smoking grill, you can skip adding the liquid smoke. I know there are differing schools of thought on its use, but if you are going to cook the sauce indoors you really should add it.

The Sunday Supper tastemakers have tons of other finger food recipes for you to look over so be sure to check them out. And thanks to Christie Campbell for being this week’s host. You’re the best!

Ribs with Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce #SundaySupper

Ribs with Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce

  • Servings: 2-4
  • Difficulty: moderate
  • Print

Prep: 2-4 hours

Cook: 90 min

Ribs with Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce


  • 1 rack pork baby back ribs
  • rib rub (see below)
  • Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce (see below)

Rib Rub Ingredients:

  • 5 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons McCormick Smokehouse Maple Seasoning
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground mustard

Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce

  • 14.5 ounce can fire-roasted diced tomatoes (with juice)
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup pure maple syrup (I use grade B syrup for better flavor)
  • 3 tablespoons Kentucky bourbon or other whiskey
  • 2 tablespoons molasses
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2  tablespoons A-1 sauce
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon Louisiana hot sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hickory flavored liquid smoke


  1. Remove membrane from back of ribs. This is most easily done by  cutting a corner edge up, then grasping it with a paper towel and pulling it off, since the paper towel helps keep it from slipping.
  2. Stir together rib rub and apply liberally to both sides of the rack of ribs. I cut my rack in half so it is easier to work with. Once the rub is applied, wrap each piece up in plastic wrap and refrigerate several hours or overnight.
  3. To prepare the sauce, puree diced tomatoes in a food processor.
  4. Pour pureed tomatoes in a saucepan with remaining sauce ingredients and stir.
  5. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat,  cover and simmer, stirring occasionally,. until sauce thickens to the consistency of ketchup (around 30 minutes or so).
  6. Prepare outdoor grill for indirect cooking.
  7. Unwrap ribs and cook over indirect heat for 75-90 minutes,  until internal temp on meat reaches 160ºF., basting with barbecue sauce last ten minutes of cooking (or you can serve it on the side, since some people like having dry rub ribs with no sauce).
  8. Cut into individual ribs and serve, passing additional sauce at the table.

Recipe from the kitchen of palatablepastime.com

Ribs with Whiskey Maple Barbecue Sauce

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Hosted by Christie Campbell from A Kitchen Hoor’s Adventures

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12 responses

  1. We make ribs a lot using dry rubs, and then smoking them (or rather, my husband smokes them, lol), but I need to try your sauce! I love that there is maple syrup but no cane sugar. Looks delish, and like the perfect, messy finger food!

    • We usually use the smoker but it is still in storage- but we’d had the grill outside. If you keep the indirect temp around 225F and have plenty of smoking chips it does alright. So I switch hit in my methods sometimes for those who don’t have the smoker. Later, I’ll alternate rib recipes with the smoker, also the slow cooker and the oven. Spreads it around. Then I can refer someone back to another recipe if they ask.

  2. We have a rack of ribs in the freezer…. I see rib sticking sticky goodness in my future with your rub and sauce. Yum!

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