Here in the lovely province of Ontario Canada, folks are getting ready to celebrate the unofficial kick off to summer. The Monday preceding the 25th of May is the day we celebrate the birthday of Queen Victoria Day also known as the May Long Weekend and the May 24.
As with any other holiday, you would expect the stores to be a little busier as people plan to host BBQ’s and entertain friends and family. You’ll find folks stocking up on extra groceries, charcoal for the ‘que, and of course, wine and spirits, in anticipation of stores being closed for the holiday.
Here in “Ontari-ari-ario”, we’re hitting the booze a little harder than usual though. You see, the main place for us to purchase alcohol is through the government owned and operated Liquor Control Board of Ontario (L.C.B.O). Yes, you read that correctly. I said “government owned and operated”. That means that the wonderful ladies and gentlemen who stock the shelves and total our purchases are government employees. They are also part of a union which is on the verge of going on strike as of midnight tonight. We also have a Beer Store that just sells, you guessed it, beer, but those folks aren’t currently in a position to strike. So, like many Ontarians, I popped into my local L.C.B.O. store to grab a few things, just in case.
Funny though, I don’t think of myself as much of a drinker. Make no mistake although I wouldn’t call it a cabinet, my liquor cupboard is never empty. I’ve been known to make a pretty good Daiquiri, Margarita and even the classic Bloody Caesar. What I found interesting was that as I was walked though the isles, I realized that if the L.C.B.O. workers do strike, it wouldn’t be too big a deal to me.
I mean, I gave up beer when I went gluten free (even though I am aware of some good gluten free brews, I’ve just lost interest) but I will happily have a glass of wine with dinner. I tend not to though, as most days when my sinuses are on the fritz, I can’t enjoy the flavour anyway. However, I do try to keep a couple bottles of wine on hand. I tend to cook with my booze more often than drink it. You know, white wine for risotto, red for tomato sauce and deglazing the pan after sautéing a steak. There was one thing I couldn’t leave the store without. I had to get a bottle of bourbon. Because this is the kickoff of summer and bbq season and that means bbq sauce. I know I’m gonna want to make a batch of my favourite Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce. I use this on anything and everything. From burgers to ribs to chicken to cobs of corn and even peaches (yes, peaches!), it’s sweet, spicy, smoky, yumminess is unbelievable. My mouth is watering just thinking about it.
Smokin’ Chipotle Bourbon BBQ Sauce
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup bourbon
3 tablespoons brown sugar
3 tablespoons mild (light) molasses
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
3 tablespoons strong black coffee
1 tablespoon tamari sauce
1 tablespoon mustard
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
1 clove garlic, minced
1 chipotle pepper, in adobo sauce, minced
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Bring all ingredients to boil in saucepan over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce heat; simmer until sauce is reduced to 2 cups, stirring often, about 10 minutes. This can be made 2 weeks ahead. Cover; chill. Use at room temperature.