During the past year, many of us may have turned to a daily cocktail — or two — to get through the pandemic. Now that the world is opening again, we can finally meet up for drinks with other people.

So, what do you do if you have leftover alcohol in your pantry?

How about boozy BBQ sauces?

What You Need To Know

  • During the past year, many of us may have turned to a daily cocktail — or two — to get through the pandemic

  • With all that leftover alcohol in your pantry, boozy BBQ sauce is one way to go

  • From barbecue sauces to herb relishes, spicy salsas and everything in between, Lisa likes to make a few different sauces to keep on hand so that when guests come over, either planned or unannounced, she can grill up some ribs, chops or veggies and serve a flavorful dinner

  • If you would like to make the sauces for your next summer party, the full recipes are available at latimes.com/food

Spectrum News 1 anchor Lisa McRee recently invited LA Times cooking columnist Ben Mims to her kitchen to try out some recipes that are perfect for the summer.

The first sauce Mims had Lisa try was a Jack-and-Coke BBQ sauce.

"This is kind of like the most basic barbecue sauce. It's got some onions, it's got ketchup, it's got some Worcestershire sauce. You know, the usual things. But then you got some Jack Daniel's whiskey and some Coca-Cola, and the sauce is not spicy, but it has a nice, round flavor to it," Mims said.

One of Lisa's favorite sauces was inspired by a restaurant in Napa Valley that serves Moroccan food.

"When Lisa gave me the recipe, I realized this has 20 ingredients. It made me wonder how you can taste everything. You do, though. You get the spice and all these different flavors. So a lot is going on here. There's ketchup, there's honey, there's cardamom, there's cinnamon, there's everything," Mims said. "But, I wanted to play a little bit of sweetness to some of the honey used in it, so I used some bourbon. You know, you can use whiskey, you can use scotch; a lot of these are interchangeable." 

Expanding beyond smooth sauces, Mims’ pineapple chutney with mescal and vanilla bean combines smokiness and tropical sweetness. 

"This is a pineapple chutney, kind of like Major Grey's mango chutney but using pineapple instead. I put some whole vanilla bean, so we have the kind of tropical tartness. It has a more tropical flavor, too. And, I added a little mezcal. This reminds me of one of my favorite drinks, which is a pineapple mezcal margarita. That was the inspiration. So using all these things, you got the vinegar in there, and you got raisins, pineapple, spices, a little bit of smokiness. That kind of helps balance everything."

One of Mims’ favorite boozy sauces is a tomatillo and tequila chow-chow combined with onions, serrano peppers, and habanero. It is sweet at first, then spicy at the end. The earthy agave liquor seamlessly blends each flavor with the next.

"Some people want to feel the heat," Mims said. "So, this one definitely has that. You leave the seeds in the chili because there's sugar and vinegar in there. And you want to balance it with some spice. So, I have a little bit of tequila with it because it makes sense."

Watch "LA Times Today" at 7 and 10 p.m. Monday through Friday on Spectrum News 1 and the Spectrum News app.