Thursday, August 29, 2013

Jack Daniels BBQ Sauce

The secret ingredient in our third annual pig roast: Jack Daniels of course!  

I've made it known that the hubs is a massive fan of Jack Daniels here, here, and here. Plus, who can forget my go-to summer drink concoction - the Jack and Coke slushies.  For those keeping track I made two more batches of slushies during last weekend's pig roast. 

The hubs received such high praise on his BBQ sauces during last year's pig roast that he decided to make even more for this year's roast.  When he was putting together his plan for more sauces he told me that he needed more mason jars for storage. Little did he know I was way ahead of him and I had already come up with a plan for storing all the BBQ sauce he could make. 

While I might not be a fan of single barrel Jack, I do acknowledge that the bottle is gorgeous. Truth be told, I've been hoarding empty Jack Daniels bottles since the hubs and I moved into our house. I was hoping to throw the hubs an enormous Jack Daniels themed party for his 30th birthday this summer and I knew I needed to store bottles in advance.  The hubs threw me for a loop when he didn't want a party, but I wasn't about to let my hoarding go to waste! 

Prior to storing anything in an old Jack Daniels bottle you've got to get the label off (if you're so inclined) and make sure the bottle is squeaky clean.  I've stripped enough labels off of glass bottles in my day to give you this tip - wait until the paper label is COMPLETELY SOAKED prior to even trying to remove it.  The water logged adhesives are much easier to remove and more often than not you can peel off the entire label in one large piece. If you find a lot of additional glue residue on the outside of your bottle after you've gotten the label remove just gently use a steel pad to buff it off. Gently is the key, you don't want to scratch the glass. 

In addition, I bought a baby bottle brush to get the inside of the bottles squeaky clean. Honestly, wish I could have video taped the hubs facial expression when he saw a baby bottle brush on the counter :) Hilarious. 

Now, we used the larger 1.75 Liter bottles for ice tea and the every day 750ml Jack Daniels bottles for BBQ sauces.  Once the bottles were stripped, cleaned, re-cleaned, and dried the hubs filled up each bottle with its BBQ sauce.  A last minute funnel purchase made that process infinitely easier. On the day of the pig roast we pulled the bottles out of the fridge about an hour before the party started in order to apply the labels.  We dried the bottles off and applied these cool chalkboard sticker labels I picked up from Crate and Barrel.  I was beyond excited to find out that these labels are made in the USA.  It also meant I got to break out my chalk board marker, which is always a good time. We didn't apply the labels while the bottles were refrigerated because I wasn't sure if the labels would stick in the fridge. 

We popped in a simple bottle pourer in each bottle and everything worked like a charm. We found extra wide bottle pourers at Bed, Bath, and Beyond and we utilized those for the thicker sauces. 

True story - after the party I told the hubs he had to start drinking more Gentlemen Jack and Single Barrel because those bottles were my absolute favorite!  The other 750ml bottles were Tennessee Honey Jack and green label.  It's more "cost effective" for the hubs to buy his standard Black Label Jack in the larger sizes :)

The finished product! 

I know this might seem sort of silly to go over, but I'm a firm believer that presentation matters. I can't even count how many people told me at the pig roast that this was the coolest idea they'd ever seen for holding BBQ sauce. It's so simple and that's the beauty of it! 

The very first photo shows what is left of our Honey BBQ supply. It also shows how well the chalkboard label held up after getting tossed around during the pig roast.  The chalkboard marker needs to get damp first in order to wipe off so it held up a lot better than plain old chalk. 

As for next year's pig roast - expect even more BBQ sauces and more quantities. The hubs had four additional sauces in smaller mason jars because he thought those particular sauces were not standard fare and didn't expect people to use them.  BIG mistake! The extra smokey sauce received the second most requests for the recipe. The only one asked about more was the Bay BBQ sauce, which is an Old Bay infused sauce. 

Oh, and there may or may not have been a splash of Jack Daniels in a few of those BBQ sauces.  His whiskey sauce recipe, which oddly enough the final product is not pictures, indicates, "add Jack to taste."  I once again had to remind him that his Jack Daniels taste threshold might differ from others. 


  1. I am a firm believer in reusing cool bottles—we do that at home all the time. I have yet to use Jack Daniels bottles though—great idea!

    xo honestly, b.

  2. This is pretty fantastic-alcohol bottles are frequently some beautiful works of art, I have an old wine bottle shaped like a cat that I've used as a vase off & on throughout the years. I love how you repurposed these, it seems appropriate for JD!

    Blonde in this City