What I thought was recent but just realized was 2 years ago – I made a root beer BBQ sauce.  It was pretty good, but it didn’t have a really strong root beer flavor.  I’ve talked about making it again for a while.  (Two years, it seems…  Time does fly…)

I was talking root beer to one of the guys at work a while back and he mentioned a hand-crafted root beer from Appalachian Brewing Company at a pub he has frequented. Today, he brought me in a couple of bottles. No time like the present to start it off, again.

I brought it home and took a sip.  It really does have a rich root beer flavor – just like old-fashioned root beer barrel candies!  It seems the blurb from the website is true:

Appalachian Root Beer

Our original Root Beer is brewed with pure cane sugar, a touch of vanilla and a delightful blend of honey. Truly tastes like old fashioned, home made root beer thanks to wholesome ingredients – like grandpa made! Appalachian Root Beer is a caffeine-free soft drink. We hope you enjoy drinking it as much as we enjoy brewing it!

I started to work.

Root Beer BBQ Sauce Duex

  • 2 bottles good quality root beer
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • 3  small hot red peppers (from our garden.  They’re hot!)
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp chipotle powder
  • 1 tbsp Mexican oregano
  • 1 6 oz can tomato paste
  • 1 16 oz can tomatoes in juice
  • 2 tbsp molasses
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Reduce the root beer (24 oz) to 1 cup (8 oz) and set aside.

Saute onion, peppers, and garlic in sauce pan until translucent.  Add spices and lightly cook.  Add tomato paste and cook.  Add tomatoes and juice, molasses, and vinegar.  Reduce heat and simmer about 10 minutes.

Add reduced root beer and check for seasoning.  Add salt and pepper and simmer.

Use an immersion blender and puree until smooth. (Or carefully use a blender.)

Refrigerate until ready to use.

I like this version much better than the first – but it still doesn’t have as much of a root beer flavor as I’m looking for.  But it is spicy!  Those little peppers from the garden are g-o-o-d!  I actually want to make a hot sauce from them later in the season.

But the BBQ sauce is really really good and I’m looking forward to using it tomorrow night on some chicken.

Tragically, I’ll just have to try it again, one of these days, to see if I can get that stronger root beer flavor I’m looking for.

The things I have to do…