A Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze

Recipe Pin
35 minutes
4 servings when using as a glaze, or about 1/2 cup

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A Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze adds a unique sweet-salty-savory ‘Umami’ component to grilled meats and fish and shellfish that will WOW you into adding it to your arsenal of recipes. This is a killer bourbon sauce for chicken, too!

bourbon Glaze

Crazy-delicious Bourbon Glaze is just that – a crazy-delicious, sweet, sticky, mildly spicy glaze for just about anything and everything.
It is super fantastic as a bourbon glaze for chicken and for fish.

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I recently swapped out my favorite barbecue sauce for this glaze and basted my Oven Baked Deep South Barbecue Ribs until the glaze became viscous. Those ribs were MEAN and AMAZING! And imagine my surprise when a reader recently reached out to tell me about their success swapping out raspberry jam for this bourbon glaze in my Crostini with Brie, Coppa and Raspberry I know!

With the hot temperatures outside, I’ve been reluctant to spend time outside, on the deck in front of a 500 degree grill, and almost as reluctant to turn the oven on inside for any meal that may take longer than 15 to 20 minutes to prepare.

And besides the hot, hot temperatures, it’s summer. My time is better spent with a cocktail in hand, poolside than with an apron on. I want ‘dinner party quality, with everyday easy’ dishes that look beautiful and taste AMAZING. A Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze is my go-to fabulous finishing sauce for…well, everything.

A close up of a bottle of bourbon with Glaze

The big deal with a bourbon glaze for chicken or fish is the super short cooking time – only about 15 minutes on the stove-top. Now, that makes things a whole lot easier…

The bourbon simmers with light brown sugar and other ingredients until reduces into a sweet sticky syrupy glaze. The glaze is removed from the heat and is ready to use in about 20 minutes after having time to thicken up. Because of this, you can make the bourbon glaze in advance for a truly quick meal.

It stores refrigerated and can be brought to room temperature before to serving. It adds a unique sweet-salty-savory ‘Umami’ component to grilled meats and vegetables that will wow you into adding it to your arsenal of recipes. And it’s a SERIOUS bourbon sauce for chicken.

Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze is what takes everyday proteins such as salmon and chicken and even a spiral baked ham from ordinary to extraordinary.

Can I make A Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze in advance?

ABSOLUTELY! This sauce may be prepared several hours in advance in fact. This is especially helpful if you will be preparing for a dinner party and will need additional time to prep other dishes.

When finished cooking, simply transfer the cooled glaze to a covered jar or sauce boat and store it at room temperature until you are ready to use it. If refrigerating for use another day, bring to room temperature before using.

What are some tips for making Bourbon sauce or Bourbon glaze?

  • This sauce makes for a stunning presentation; save aside about half for drizzling atop your dish just before serving.
  • Begin by using ONLY 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes. Additional may be added after tasting depending on the level of heat you want to achieve.
  • If you have prepared this sauce ahead and it appears too thick when time to use, just reheat gently with a teaspoon at a time of water and a whisk. You are looking to achieve that same syrupy consistency you got during the initial cook.
What Is The BEST Bourbon Glaze Or Sauce Recipe?

Any kind of glaze or sauce used to enhance a protein or vegetable should check off boxes in several categories without ‘over-doing’ it. For example, you probably wouldn’t put BBQ sauce on cooked carrots. BBQ sauce is delicious yes, but works best on grilled meats like chicken and ribs where fats and collagens broken down in the cooking process work with sugar in the BBQ sauce to develop that sought after deep and crusty ‘bark’ we all know and love. And for those same chicken and ribs, a drizzle of honey that by itself and would surely make the carrots shine, mightn’t be enough to intensify the richness and splendor of grilled or smoked meats. A Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze lends flavor to more than one foodstuff.

A Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze imparts an imperial and umami flavor profile BEAUTIFULLY to practically all vegetables, grilled meats, fish, and poultry. It’s THE BEST singular sauce or glaze for everything. How? The breakdown of sugars in the bourbon and aromatics react with mustard to add tanginess, red pepper flakes or cayenne for balancing heat, and Worcestershire to bolster the other ingredients, creating a “flavor harmony.” What is created is a glaze that is not too spicy, not too sweet, and not too tangy, rather something just about right according to the human palate. Right for every vegetable and right for every protein.

sweet, sticky, spicy bourbon glaze

A Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze

Jenny DeRemer
A Sweet, Sticky, Spicy Bourbon Glaze adds a unique sweet-salty-savory 'Umami' component to grilled meats and fish and shellfish that will WOW you into adding it to your arsenal of recipes.
4.53 from 94 votes
Servings: 4 servings when using as a glaze, or about 1/2 cup
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Resting Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Course Condiment, Sauce
Cuisine American, Southern
Servings 4 servings when using as a glaze, or about 1/2 cup
Calories 1089 kcal


  • ¾ cup Bourbon
  • cup light brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard or whole grain Dijon mustard
  • 1 ½ tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon minced ginger
  • 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • ¼ to ½ teaspoon **crushed red pepper flakes **see note above


  • In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine the bourbon, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, honey, Dijon mustard, ginger, vinegar, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, and 1 teaspoon Kosher salt.
  • Simmer the mixture, whisking frequently until the sugar has dissolved.
  • Continue to gently simmer the glaze, without whisking, until it has reduced by half, 12 to 15 minutes.
  • Cool for at least 15 minutes before using. Sauce will thicken upon standing.

The nutrition value can vary depending on what product(s) you use. The information below is an estimate. Always use a calorie counter you are familiar with.

Please note that table salt and iodized salt are NOT substitutions for Kosher salt. Do not deviate unless otherwise specified.


Serving: 1ounceCalories: 1089kcalCarbohydrates: 170gProtein: 2gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2969mgPotassium: 440mgFiber: 1gSugar: 163gVitamin A: 148IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 166mgIron: 3mg
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Recipe Rating


    1. Jason, you have discovered one of one hundred delicious reasons to bust this recipe out! Ham is a top contender but come back when grill season begins and glaze some salmon or pork chops with this sauce. You will NOT be disappointed! Happy New Year, Jason, and thank you!!! Jenny

  1. I absolutely love this sauce! Used it on salmon and it was delicious. Cant wait to try it on a blue cheese burger!
    Do you think it could be canned? I would love to gift it.5 stars

    1. Tracy, now you’re thinking outside the box, and I LOVE IT! Salmon, ham, chicken, grilled shellfish…the list is long! But that blue cheese burger? KILLER! Baked beans? KILLER! Homemade bacon or onion jam? KILLER! I’m thrilled you’re thinking creatively with this. Yes, it’s possible to can, though I have not done it myself. In order for me to advise on the hot water bath, I’d need to run through a method first. If you have ideas, bring ’em on so me and others may learn from you 🙂 xo – Jenny

    1. Scott, this glaze recipe can easily be doubled – just hover over the ‘amount’ in the recipe card to increase or decrease the yield. The card will calculate the correct measurements. You can make this sauce up to 5 days in advance. Just store it in an airtight container, then reheat on the stove over low heat. It actually gets better if made ahead and allowed to marry in my opinion. I made my baked beans today ahead of Thanksgiving. I use this glaze strictly for my beans which will be soooo flavorful and viscous when I reheat on Thursday! Let me know if you try the glaze – I’d love to hear how you enjoy it! Jenny

    1. Nancy, I’d be lying if I told you I’d had this sauce on a burger…but I’d also be lying if I told you I didn’t think it’d be AMAZING! Only because we are talking burgers, and if you like Roquefort or a veiny Bleu cheese, this glaze and that cheese would honeymoon if coupled on burgers. If you end up trying the sauce, let it cool slightly to thicken.You’d want it thicker on a handheld like a burger. Let me know how you enjoy it!! X – Jenny

  2. Wonderful sticky bourbon sauce. I used it on grilled chicken wings and it was better than the sauce I had previously purchased.5 stars

    1. Carol, isn’t it also great to be able to say that you ‘whipped it up’ knowing EXACTLY what was in it? Or perhaps more importantly, what was NOT in it. Thank you, Carol, for making a return visit to leave this sweet comment! 🙂 Jenny