Combine all ingredients in a sauce pan over medium heat. Stir until sugar and spices all dissolve. Bring to a low simmer and cook 10-15 minutes, then turn off the heat.
Strain the sauce into a bowl to remove the chili pepper flakes and peppercorns (and discard the pepper flakes and peppercorns). Then, when cool, place BBQ sauce into a jar with a tight sealing lid. Store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
For more heat, add more chili pepper flakes and let it sit unstrained for a period of time.
MUSTARD BASED BBQ SAUCE
2 Cups Vinegar Based Sauce (from above)
1 Tablespoon honey
1/4 cup Dijon mustard (I find yellow mustard a touch acidic)
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan and heat up, whisk to incorporate the honey and mustard until a simmer, then turn off heat. If you like it a sweeter style, just add more honey.
2 cups apple cider vinegar
1 cup ketchup
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup hot sauce, (we err towards a savory style hot sauce, like Valentina)
2 tablespoons chili powder
2 tablespoons whole peppercorn
1 tablespoon salt
1 tablespoon red chili pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dry mustard