Maple Whisky and Nanking Cherry BBQ Sauce

From Julie Van Rosendaal

2017 Jul/Aug

Highwood Distillers in High River makes an intense maple whisky that pairs well with tart Nanking cherry juice – if you don’t have them growing in your yard, start with about 2 cups of bottled cherry juice.


  • 8 c. Nanking cherries, washed and stemmed
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1 c. packed brown sugar
  • 1 T. grainy mustard
  • 2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 t. ground ginger
  • 1 t. kosher salt
  • 1/2 t. black pepper
  • 1-1/2 c. Highwood Distillers maple whisky, or 1 c. whisky + 1/2 c. pure maple syrup


In a large saucepan, combine the cherries and sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until cherries have given up their juice. Remove from heat and push through a sieve to remove skins and pits. Discard the solids.

Return the cherry juice to the saucepan, add the remaining ingredients except the whisky, and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to a simmer and add 1 c. maple whisky. Continue to simmer until slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 c. whisky. Cool and refrigerate. Then slather the sauce on your grilled pork ribs, or beef ribs, or just about anything you’re grilling.