Guinness Reduction - The Recipe Wench (2024)

Published: · Modified: by Bridget · This post may contain affiliate links · 19 Comments

It's my birthday month and the month of Saint Patrick's Day.

I don't know why I get so excited about Saint Patrick's Day -- I think I just have fond memories of Saint Paddy's Day from my childhood.

Guinness Reduction - The Recipe Wench (1)

Spring is in the air -- the days are getting longer, the birds are chirping, the plans for summer are starting to take shape.

My parents used to make a big deal out of Saint Patrick's Day so it must have rubbed off on me a little bit. Mom would always make sure I had a nice, new item of green clothing to wear to school.

So I wanted to test out something that screamed, "Irish," while satisfying my affinity for appetizers. (One year, "eating more appetizers" was actually one of my New Years Resolutions . . .)

Naturally, Guinness came to mind.

This Guinness reduction has exactly two ingredients: equal amounts Guinness Stout and brown sugar.

I tested a version with granulated sugar. It was very good, but the brown sugar batch has the flavor I prefer.

We combined the sweet, syrupy Guinness reduction with delicious Italian olive oil and served it along with a selection of cheeses, olives and prosciutto from our local grocery store.


Guinness Reduction - The Recipe Wench (2)

Guinness Reduction

Print recipe

Serves1-½ cups
Prep time 2 minutes
Cook time 45 minutes
Total time 47 minutes
Meal typeAppetizer

Guinness reduction sauce reminds me of balsamic vinegar without the "tang." It's a very simple recipe but takes some patience while the sauce heats and becomes deliciously syrupy. Drizzle some into olive oil and then dip baguettes and enjoy!


  • 1 Cup Guinness
  • 1 Cup brown sugar, lightly packed


When you store this Guinness reduction sauce in the fridge, it thickens up. This is a good thing.

Enjoy! - The Recipe Wench


Step 1
This is so simple you barely need a "recipe" --

Heat the Guinness and brown sugar in a sauce pan over medium heat.

Stir continuously until sugar has dissolved and mixture has started to bubble.

Reduce heat to low and allow mixture to simmer for about 45 minutes, stirring occasionally. Be patient -- it's so worth it!

I suggest you pay close attention to this mixture as it is simmering. Since there is so much sugar, there is the likelihood of it burning.

Also, I found that at times the mixture would start to rise to the top of the sauce pan (maybe my saucepan should have been larger). If that happens to you, just remove the pan from the heat until the mixture backs down. Lowering the heat will help too.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Larry Miller says

    Bridget,My wife had an Smashed Irishman drink and liked it, can this recipe used in that drink?


  2. Hugh says

    For some reason, mine had a metallic taste that sort of spoiled it. Have you ever had the experience?I’m wondering if it’s because I used Guinness from a can.


    • Bridget says

      Hugh -- I haven't had this experience. I used Guinness from a can as well. Tastebuds can be affected by so many things.


  3. Janet says

    What did I do wrong. It looked great in the pan but hardened up into a block when I took it out of the pan.


    • Bridget says

      Janet -- I'm sorry to hear that. My guess is that it cooked too long or the temperature went too high. After the sugar dissolves, the heat needs to be reduced to low and allowed to simmer until it thickens. By any chance, are you at a high elevation? If that's the case, you'll need to be very careful and I believe the sauce will reach the syrupy consistency sooner than it would at sea level.


  4. Geoff says

    Do you keep the pot covered when simmering?


  5. Connor says

    I do something similar when I make brats, First I poach the brats in beer with thinly sliced onions and butter and then remove them, then I add a tablespoon of brown sugar and reduce until syrupy and serve the onion beer reduction as a condiment for the brats along with sauerkraut and mustard.


    • Bridget says

      That sounds really good! I'll have to try brats your way!!!


  6. Christian says

    I'm trying to replicate the Irish Soda Bread i ate in Dublin at Queen Of Tarts, and I'm thinking instead of molasses, i could maybe try a guinness reduction. What do you think?


    • Bridget says

      I'm thinking that sounds like it would work! Let us know how it goes!


  7. Jessica Whenham says

    I work at a brewery and used our house made stout. It turned out perfectly! Made it a second time and reduced it less to match the consistency of pure maple syrup and then used both to make maple/stout fudge! Turned out great. Thanks! Ive also pitched this as a sauce to be served with our charcuterie! Everybody here loves it. So easy and delicious. Thank you!


    • Bridget says

      I'm glad to hear it worked out for you! And thanks for taking the time to get back to me. Maple/stout fudge sounds tempting! Take care!


  8. Jessica Whenham says

    Im going to use it as a substitute for some of the maple syrup in a maple fudge recipe! Wish me luck. Will report back (if I remember)


    • Bridget says

      That sounds great. I definitely want to hear back from you!


  9. laurenmcelwain (1cookingchick) says

    Whoa! Yum! I want to try this! I get excited about St. Paddy's Day too!


    • Bridget says

      One of these days I'll spend it in Ireland -- should be quite the spectacle! (Ireland, not me!)


  10. Caroline M says

    What else can you do with this reduction? What about using it as a glaze for a tenderloin? I wonder if adding a little balsamic (the good stuff) would work? So many questions!! ;)


    • Bridget says

      Hmmmm. I'm going to have to enjoy a few more bites of baguette dipped in the sauce while I ponder your question! It's a pretty sweet sauce. I think it could be added to baked goods (like brownies and cookies) to give them a little twist. I would like to try grilling chicken and basting with the sauce towards the end. I have a good amount of sauce in the fridge now -- plenty to experiment with. I'll report back!


We want to hear from you!

Guinness Reduction - The Recipe Wench (2024)


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