NPR logo A Fourth of July BBQ Mystery

A Fourth of July BBQ Mystery

Firing up the barbecue on the Fourth of July isn't just a holiday tradition, it's your patriotic duty. Corbis hide caption

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It's too hot to cook... but tomorrow, grill we will. It's the patriotic thing to do. Thinking of what to grill, how to grill (there are volumes written on this subject), I was reminded of one of the best barbecue sauces I've ever had.

It was prepared by former NPR producer Sean Collins, who offered to cater an event at my house for a delegation of Chinese journalists. Sean was considering a career change at that time, and he loved to cook, so I offered to test his talents, which proved formidable.

One of the things Sean prepared was barbecued chicken drummettes. The sauce was dark, piquant and had an irresistible kick. Guess what was the secret ingredient... cough syrup! I'm sure that doesn't surprise true barbecue aficionados, but I was astounded. It was really great.

I don't have Sean's recipe (I didn't have the nerve to ask for it), but I'll bet someone out there does. Want to share?