This sweet spicy Coca Cola Barbecue Sauce has a unique background flavour from reducing the cola during the sauce’s slow simmer; especially delicious on ribs.
This Coca Cola barbecue sauce has a distinctive flavour that comes from concentrating the cola flavour in the simmering process. I first had something similar a few years back in a couple of versions. One was a glaze that I thought was just too intensely flavoured.
I tried a Coca Cola BBQ sauce at a diner during a southern road trip and liked that much, much better. The server said it was a ketchup based sauce so that’s where I started for this recipe.
Their version had quite a bit of kick as I recall. If I don’t miss my guess, I believe it was Tabasco Sauce that provided the heat.
Spicy or not so spicy.
In my version, I’m using sriracha because it is my hot sauce of choice at the moment. Also because it has a bit of subtle smokiness that I think works well without overwhelming heat.
You can of course moderate the heat to your own taste by using less of the Sriracha. I like to make mildly spicy batches of BBQ sauce and then add extra hot sauce to it as I need it; for example for spicy BBQ wings.
I just pour some in a ramekin, add as much hot sauce as I like and brush it on. This is a great way to offer both mild and hot versions of anything that you barbecue.
I enjoyed this sauce on a grilled prime rib steak the other night but it is equally good on pork and chicken. My next experiment is to use it as a sauce to drizzle on my mesquite smoked pulled pork sandwiches where I think it will also be excellent.
The sauce can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks or so or make it last all summer by properly bottling it according to the prescribed method recommended by mason jar manufacturer Bernardin.
We have more side dish inspiration including everything from baked beans & corn bread to deliciously different potato and pasta salads. Be sure to check them all out in our collection of 26 Best BBQ Side Dishes too.
Originally published July 2014. Updated April 2020.
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Coca Cola Barbecue Sauce
This sweet spicy Coca Cola barbecue sauce has a unique background flavor from reducing the cola during the sauce's slow simmer; especially delicious on ribs
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 1 small red onion, minced
- ¼ cup honey
- 1 cup ketchup
- 2¼ cups coca cola, NOT diet
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 to 3 tsp Sriracha sauce, to taste
- 1 tsp dry thyme
- 2 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil until softened but not browned.
- Add the remaining ingredients and simmer very slowly for up to an hour until the sauce thickens. Stir often.The sauce will thicken as it cools so reduce it to a consistency a little more watery than ketchup.
- The sauce can be kept in the fridge for 2 weeks or so or make it last all summer by properly bottling it according to the prescribed method recommended by the mason jar manufacturer.
Serving Size48 2 1/2 - 3 cups BBQ sauce (1 tbsp serving)
Amount Per Serving Calories 22Total Fat 1gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 91mgCarbohydrates 4gFiber 0gSugar 4gProtein 0g
The nutritional information provided is automatically calculated by third party software and is meant as a guideline only. Exact accuracy is not guaranteed. For recipes where all ingredients may not be used entirely, such as those with coatings on meats, or with sauces or dressings for example, calorie & nutritional values per serving will likely be somewhat lower than indicated.
Sunday 19th of March 2023
I have used red chili flakes for the heat aspect because it works so well in my Mexican Brownies. Thanks for the recipe Barry.
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Sunday 23rd of August 2020
Great recipe. I made it tonight for bbq chicken legs and it was delicious. Everything was eyeballed and I used a different hot sauce which still tasted good. I'll definitely make this again and tell a few friends.