While growing up in the small town of Sugar Hill, Georgia, my first chance to eat real BBQ was at the Sugar Hill Drive-In. A modest cinder block building that seated around 15 folks, the Sugar Hill Drive-In was owned by a gentleman named Harold Cabe. He used an outside open pit behind the restaurant where he smoked whole fresh hams for hours and hours until the meat was 'fall-off-the bone' tender. Mr. Cabe had a wonderfully tangy vinegar-based BBQ sauce he created to accompany the smoked meats.
After enjoying his delectable BBQ for years, I got up the nerve to ask him about the vinegar sauce. Without hesitation he grabbed an empty gallon mustard jar and started throwing various ingredients into the jar. When he finished, he gave it a quick taste test and declared it perfect.
My mother, a quintessential Southern cook, had a recipe for a tomato-based sweet BBQ sauce. It was so good she had to constantly prevent me from eating the sauce out of the pot with a spoon as it cooled. We used the sauce on everything from chicken to steaks.
As years went by I began to smoke more of my own BBQ. I experimented and made versions of my vinegar sauce and tomato sauce to serve with various meats. During gatherings of family and friends I noticed they were using the two sauces together and an idea struck me. Why not combine the flavor profiles of these two sauces? After countless combinations and recipes, I achieved the perfect balance of sweet and tangy. I hope you, your family and friends will enjoy the sauce as much as mine do.