Recipe: Whiskey Barbecue Meatballs

Recipe: Whiskey Barbecue Meatballs

Whiskey Barbecue Meatballs

Super Bowl time is upon us! Don’t watch the game with just any old snack food. Make it something special with these original Whiskey Barbecue Meatballs. (We’re using frozen meatballs here because it’s really about the sauce, but you can also make your own easily.) You can cook up the spicy sauce a couple of days early for game day convenience. It will only get better with a day or two in the refrigerator.

Barbecue Sauce

Whiskey Barbecue Meatballs
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 minced red onion
4 cloves minced garlic
3/4 cup whiskey
3 tablespoons dark brown sugar
3 tablespoons dark corn syrup
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
1 tablespoon soy sauce
2 cups ketchup
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tablespoon sea salt
1/3 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes
1 tablespoon ginger (freshly ground is best)
1 shot espresso
1 32-ounce package of frozen, cooked meatballs

In a blender or food processor combine the olive oil, onion, garlic, and whiskey. Puree the mixture and then pour the mixture into a large pan. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium; simmer for 10 minutes. Mix in the remaining ingredients, except for meatballs, and bring to a boil again. Reduce heat to medium-low. Let it simmer for 20 minutes, stirring often.

Pour barbecue sauce into a large skillet and add meatballs. Bring to a boil again. Then reduce heat to medium-high and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Turn meatballs over after the 10 minute mark and spoon sauce over them every five minutes or so. The sauce will thicken. Serve with your favorite brew and enjoy.


For the sample recipe, we used Jack Daniel’s Tennessee Honey was used to enhance the honey added. Substitute bourbon if you prefer.

In lieu of meatballs, try sliced kielbasa sausage.

Lastly, in place of the dried red pepper flakes, hot pepper sauce or ¼ teaspoon of cayenne pepper may be substituted.

Kim Richards lives in Santa Rosa, California. She is an author, amateur cheese maker, wine/mead maker, and a novice home brewer. She enjoys a nice cocktail while listening to live music, watching movies and mixed martial arts, or dining at home and in restaurants. She and her husband frequent festivals and love to visit breweries and distilleries.

Favorite cocktail: Old Fashioned with maple syrup.

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