The Surprising Ingredient Your Barbecue Sauce Needs

What makes a good barbecue sauce? It's quite the loaded question depending on who you ask, and be prepared for the answer because everyone has an opinion. Some answers are going to come down to regional preferences – and boy do they have preferences. Some people like a balance of sweet and savory, while others are looking for the mesquite and smokey tastes to create that firework of flavor when they bite into their meat of choice while others are seeking a tart tang to get those taste buds watering.

Barbecue sauces can be made out of an array of ingredients with tomato, vinegar, and mustard being popular bases for this sauce. It might even surprise you to learn that the barbecues sauces of yore actually had butter as a primary ingredient (via Amazing Ribs). Today, you can find recipes that call for everything from molasses to brown sugar to soy sauce to espresso to Coca-Cola (via Delishably). But regardless of which ingredients get the saliva going, there's always a way to kick the flavor up a notch with a boozy ingredient, and we aren't talking about the usual suspect, AKA bourbon.

Add a shot or two of Tequila to your barbecue sauce

Break out your Pee Wee Herman shoes because we are talking tequila. A writer for Taste of Home shared that while you can always jazz up recipes with seasonings and spices, tequila can be a game-changer when you want to really create barbecue sauce 2.0. He also cautioned that the real trick is to add the right amount. You don't want your meat to taste tequila-logged, but you definitely want to be able to detect the fruity tastes this sweet agave-based alcohol adds.

It doesn't have to be Patrón – a cheaper tequila you might use for blended margaritas will do. To make tequila barbecue sauce, you will need two cups of your favorite barbecue sauce. You want to simmer the sauce and add 2 to 4 tablespoons of tequila until it reaches your desired thickness. You will need to taste it to decide if it is strong enough. If you need more of a punch, add a little more, but again, be careful not to add so much that is overwhelming. Additionally, you might want to try this with your mustard-based sauces. Thrillist added tequila to mustard and found the alcohol added an unexpected "depth" to the condiment.