Barq’s Root Beer-Glazed Ham

Barq's Root Beer-Glazed Ham Recipe

Edward A. Barq of Biloxi, Mississippi, developed his root beer in 1898. Soft drinks (as opposed to “hard” alcoholic drinks) gained popularity during the temperance movement of the later nineteenth century and claimed to have health-giving properties. Dr Pepper (1885), Coca-Cola (1886), and Pepsi-Cola (1896) were all developed in the South and are rooted in this movement.

Root beer is an effervescent blend of infusions and extracts either slightly fermented to produce carbon dioxide or mixed with carbonated water. Sassafras roots and bark, dandelion, wild cherry, burdock, spruce, wintergreen, ginger, nutmeg, cloves, and anise are flavorings found in root beers, and all make a wonderful enhancement to smoky ham.–Martha Hall Foose

Barq's Root Beer-Glazed Ham Recipe

  • Quick Glance
  • 30 M
  • 4 H, 30 M
  • Serves 8 to 10


  • For the root beer glaze
  • 1 cup root beer
  • 1/2 cup ketchup
  • 1/2 cup dark brown sugar
  • Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard
  • For the ham
  • One 3-pound whole or butt end, bone-in, fully cooked, “city,” cured, smoked ham
  • About 1/2 cup root beer
  • Whole cloves


  • Make the root beer glaze
  • 1. Combine the root beer, ketchup, brown sugar, lemon zest and juice, and mustard in a saucepan. Simmer, stirring often, over low heat for abut 10 minutes until a thin saucy consistency.
  • Make the ham
  • 2. Preheat the oven to 250°F (120°C).
  • 3. Line a large roasting pan with foil. Place the ham in the pan fat side up for shank end and whole hams, or position the meat cut side down for butt end hams. Add the root beer or enough to cover the bottom of the pan by 1/4 inch. Let sit awhile, at least 30 minutes, to come to room temperature.
  • 4. Tent the ham loosely with foil. Bake undisturbed until a thermometer inserted in the center of the ham reads 110°F (43°C). (1 to 3 hours depending on size and cut of ham).
  • 5. Remove the ham from the oven and increase the oven temperature to 325°F (160°C). Pour off any accumulated pan juices and reserve for the sauce. Cut away excess fat. Score the ham in a diamond pattern, cutting 1/4 inch into the meat. Brush a thin layer of Root Beer Glaze over the scored surface of the ham. Insert whole cloves at the intersections of the cuts.
  • 6. Bake the ham until the internal temperature reaches 120°F (49°C), approximately 1 hour. Let the ham rest on a cutting board or platter for at least 15 minutes before carving.
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