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.

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!

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.
4.17 from 54 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. 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

  1. 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

    1. Charlee, mine too! If you haven’t already, try also on chicken thighs and drumsticks on the grill. I offer a great method for brining chicken to avoid the ‘ick factor’ that always seems to accompany bone-in chicken. Just continuously apply the glaze with a mop or pastry brush, allow it to get sticky, then layer on more and more and more. OMG!!! x – Jenny

  2. Wow! This is our new favorite glaze. Amazing smell and taste. We used 80 proof bourbon. We smoked bacon wrapped chicken breasts filled with asparagus and cheese and used the bourbon glaze while cooking and for dipping!5 stars

    1. Melissa, thank you!!! Darn Girl, you sound like you were meant to be cooking beside me! We clearly think and EAT alike! Thank you for making a point of stopping back to give me this kind comment 🙂 Jenny

  3. This was Amazing!! I cooked bacon earlier and used the same pan w 1 tablespoon of bacon grease & 1/4 of brown sugar & not 2/3rd…sprinkled it over a ribeye…slap your Momma good!
    Thank you,
    Sean5 stars

    1. Sean, you’ve officially given me my first ‘slap your Momma!’ SO SOUTHERN! Thank you, Sean 🙂 Letting me know means a lot. X – Jenny

  4. Thank you for this. I swapped the red chili flakes for something called Zhong Sauce and agave syrup for honey. I did have to use a little corn starch slurry to thicken. So excited to use this with wings and maybe as a dipping sauce.5 stars

    1. Kimberly, now I’m going to have to check out Zhong sauce! It works as long as you get the sauce to the level of heat that you desire. So glad you took a moment to let me know that you liked it! Jenny

    1. Michael, I have and so has my one of kitchen gals here at Not Entirely Average. The trick is to roast the turkey and begin basting this sauce toward the end of your roast. Adding the glaze in the beginning makes it prone to burning given the length of time it takes for a whole turkey. I begin to apply it 45 minutes before the end of the roasting time. I make a triple batch of glaze and am sure to serve some of it warmed, tableside. IT’S KILLER GOOD!!!

  5. This was absolutely delicious!! I used it on scallops, asparagus, tilapia and salmon. Can’t wait to make it again- thank you5 stars

    1. Deb, thank you for taking a minute out of your day to give this terrific feedback! It’s so good, right? x – Jenny

  6. I made the sauce exactly to the recipe. I used it on grilled porkchops and it was perfect. It is just the right amount of sweet and heat. Will definitely make this again.5 stars

    1. Jacob, a great big thank you to you for the feedback! I am tickled that you enjoyed it. I have been basting scallops and shrimp on the charcoal grill with this glaze since the beginning of the summer and it never disappoints! I make a batch and measure out only what I need for the seafood and refrigerate the rest. GOOD STUFF! x – Jenny

  7. Yum! Just finished making this recipe. Since I never made a Bourbon glaze before, I followed the recipe as written. I wouldn’t change a thing, it was excellent.5 stars

    1. Renee, I am ELATED that you prepared the glaze! I hope you are brushing onto or dipping something yummy! Speaking of bourbon, I am fast working on a bourbon cheesecake recipe – it must be something about bourbon! xo – Jenny

  8. This was easy and awesome! I’m going to see if I can make a large batch and keep it on hand. Great for impressing guests!5 stars

    1. I love that you love this, Marilyn! Thank you for rating the recipe AND for jotting this sweet note to let me know! This glaze is FANTASTIC on almost anything you can think of. You can get exact measurements right in my recipe card by hovering over the serving size and moving the bar until you end up with the amount you want.

      1. Unsure what all you’ve tried this glaze on so far, but we experimented with chicken wings on the grill this weekend using the glaze as both a marinade and a baste and it was AMAZING!