So, how did I get into this? I mean, who'd'a thunk of using Scotch in a barbecue sauce? Well, it all happened years ago when I came into possession of a $90 bottle of Laphroaig. It was a full 18 years old, which made it smooth as could be, but being from the western Isles, it was also unbelievably smoky. Too smoky for me. I thought it was a shame to waste a $90 bottle of anything, so I cast about for some other use for this whisky than holiday toasts. In a flash of perverse insight, I decided it would make a good base for a barbecue sauce. My first batch made with the Laphroaig was okay, but needed a little sweetening. So I added apples for a smoother sweetness. The pulpiness of the apples thickening the sauce was a bonus. And there we are.
And now that intermission is over, let's get back to the show.
All the cool guys drive a stick (blender)
Beautiful color, ready to eat
A jarring sight
Divvying up the swag
Saves refrigerator space
In addition to our own use, I make this for dinners we host, for the Scouts' Winter Rendezvous, to give away as gifts, etc. I made the original recipe for a modest batch, but I find it's easier to make a triple batch at a time. Herewith is the recipe.
Scotch Barbecue Sauce
Single Batch / Triple Batch
1 oz butter or olive oil / 3 oz butter or olive oilHeat Dutch oven to medium-low. Add butter or oil. Sweat onion and garlic until they become translucent. Add Scotch and apples. Simmer 5-10 minutes.
½ onion (depending on the size of your onions), rough chopped / 1 ½ - 2 onions
4 cloves garlic, minced / 12 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup young single-malt, Islay-style Scotch whisky / 1 Fifth Scotch
4 small-medium sweet apples, peeled and cored / 12 small-medium apples
2 cups ketchup / 6 cups ketchup (= 64 oz. bottle)
½ cup cider vinegar / 1 ½ cups cider vinegar
½ cup molasses / 1 ½ cups molasses
½ cup brown sugar / 1 ½ cups brown sugar
1 small can (3-3.5 oz) chipotles in adobo sauce / 1 large can (11 oz) chipotles
½ Tbsp salt / 1 ½ Tbsp salt
½ Tbsp ground mustard / 1 ½ Tbsp ground mustard
½ tsp black pepper / 1 ½ tsp black pepper
Add remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Drop heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 hour. Stir occasionally to keep from sticking.
Puree sauce (I use a stick blender). You can chill and serve or can the product. Makes about 3 pints (9 pints for triple recipe).