When Bourbon meets braai the party is saved

It may not be warm enough to fire up the grill just yet, but we have spring fever and it’s never too early to start perfecting your barbecue sauce. This summer we want our chicken and ribs to be really finger-licking-good, which means making sauce from scratch. For some advice, we called Chef Adam Perry Lang, barbecue champion, author of the new book BBQ 25 (out in May) and owner of New York City’s Daisy May’s BBQ U.S.A.

We also have a secret weapon: bourbon. Sure, a glass of whiskey tastes pretty good with grilled meats, but it also “gives a sauce a depth of flavour,” says Perry Lang. Once the alcohol cooks off you’re left with the spirit’s rich woody and smoky notes. (Don’t try this with Scotch: The flavour of the liquor, according to the chef, is too strong.) Try Perry Lang’s recipe (see below) for his “go-to sauce” on chicken, pork or beef. He suggests using your favourite bourbon. Not a problem since, as he points out, “it’s typically around when you’re cooking barbecue.”

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