Thursday, February 2, 2012

Getting your Laphroaig On – The Official Laphroaig BBQ Sauce

Some well lashed ribs Laphroaig style
Ever had a BBQ sauce you just can't stop eating? Or ever had a BBQ sauce made with your favourite Scotch whisky? If there is is one BBQ sauce you will ever make then this in the one for you: The Official Laphroaig BBQ Sauce.

On the 6th of September 2011 several of us lucky D.T.W.C. members managed to wrangle some tickets to Laphroaig Live Sydney. Apart form a good night had by all, a great feast, and a waterfall of Laphroaig whisky, we were also graced with lashings of Laphroaig BBQ Sauce. Oh my goodness was it good! In fact it was so good we got the recipe from Laphroaig and swore and oath "It would be made", and so it was.

With the first D.T.W.C. meeting held for the year, on the 28th Jan 2012, we decided what better time than to get our Laphroaig on. Heading over early to The Converted's we set about making up the sauce to the exact Official Laphroaig Recipe to lash on the pork ribs being severed up for the evenings meal.


  • 2 Cups ketchup
  • 60 ml Laphroaig whisky (we used Laphroaig Quarter Cask)
  • 1/3 Cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 Cup minced onion
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 Tablespoons water
  • 3 Cloves garlic crushed
  • 1 Tablespoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke (available at any good home brew/distillation shop)
  • 1 Tablespoon Honey mustard
  • 30ml Teriyaki sauce
  • 30ml HP sauce
  • 1/2 teaspoon cayenne (we used hot)
  • Fresh ground pepper to taste


  • 1 Medium Sauce Pan. Note your pan needs to be wide enough to let the sauce simmer at about 1.5cm to 2cm deep but not wide enough that is becomes too thin and dries the sauce out or burn.
  • 1 Container to hold sauce once it is cooked sauce. You will find the empty ketchup squeeze bottle will be ample so save it and rinse it out.
  • 1 Wooden spoon
  • 1 Blender
  • 1 Dram of Laphroaig extra


Step 1. Blend onion and water into a puree. It is going to get watery but make sure you get this nice and fine to a near mush. A stick blender, powered blender, or even a drink blender will get the constancy needed.

Browning the onions until golden
Step 2. Heat the pan over a medium heat with the olive oil.  Add the onion puree, reduce heat, and simmer slow until golden. DO NOT BURN!

Step 3. Add crushed garlic and stir through for a minimum 30 seconds. Garlic only needs 30 seconds to cook out the pungency but retain the flavour.

Combining the ingredients to simmer
Step 4. Add all remaining ingredients and simmer for 20 minutes (simmer means to ONLY JUST bubble during cooking). Stir through continuously the whole time. Do not let it dry out though it will reduce and thicken as well as darken. Top up with a small amount of water if it dry out too fast. This is where you get sip your extra dram while stirring.

The final consistency and colour
Step 5. After 20 minutes the consistency should be be thick, viscous, yet fluid. NOT STICKY. Anything hot will always be more fluid than when it cools, so if by chance it is sticky while still cooking then you have killed it good an proper and no amount of water will save it. Let it cool to luke warm and then transfer to the storage receptacle (ketchup squeeze bottle).

Cooled and ready for consumption. Note the darkening on cooling.
On making the sauce I have to firstly say it was outstanding. The stickiness, spices and smokey depth of flavour complimented the ribs perfectly. One of the best, if not the best BBQ sauce I have ever had anywhere! I can also say it goes just awesome with a choice cut T-bone, and or for breakfast with eggs, beans and bacon.

Notably though is that this sauce, made to this recipe, is NOT quite like what we had at Laphroaig Live Sydney. The sauce we were served was by far darker (I am guessing owning mainly to a higher brow sugar content and longer, slower cooking time), and it had a strong sense of Laphroaig on the nose (most likely because the content of Laphroaig was doubled if not tripled in the mix). I dare say the sauce we had on the night did not have any liquid smoke at all as there was no shortage of Laphroaig from the bottle. I would also suspect the fact the volume was hight (by a few litters) they were able to temper the flavour far more accurately. I really would like to know what the evening recipe really was but if anything the recipe you see here is by far better and more versatile.

I think this recipe will lend itself to any robust whisky of your choice. Bourbons and Rye whiskies especially would go exceptionally well.

The Diplomat dials in for the virtual tasting of sauce and whisky
Thanks to The Converted for his well prepared ribs, excellent spread of salads, bread and of course being the host for the evening. Also thanks to The Diplomat for his dial in virtual tasting of sauce and whisky. I am sure he will be all over this recipe for the crowning glory of his Burger Project (yes this is what you have been missing).

Cheers to Laphroaig for their generous release of the recipe. I temp you, nah I urge you with a red hot poker to get your Laphroaig on and make it now and make in high quantity. If I was to give a dram then this is a full 7 out of 7.

Unofficial word from John Campbell and also talk on the Laphroaig website was that potentially Laphroaig will release this as a product. John if you are listening please keep us informed.

The Baron