Local restaurant serves up Blackberry Smoke BBQ sauce

The band Blackberry Smoke has a drink named after it at SunTrust Park, home of the Atlanta Braves, and a paint color created for Harley-Davidson motorcycles that bears its name.

It now can add a barbecue sauce to that list.

In honor of the band coming to Packard Music Hall on Saturday, Cockeye BBQ owner Erik Hoover created a Blackberry Smoke barbecue sauce the Warren restaurant has been serving since the show was announced this summer.

The concert announcement coincided with Hoover’s annual trip to help groom a friend’s land in advance of hunting season.

“That’s right around the time when blackberries are in season out at the property,” he said. “It’s kind of a yearly tradition. I picked I don’t know how many five-gallon buckets of blackberries.”

A Blackberry Smoke sauce seemed like the perfect way to use them.

“They’re one of my favorite bands, I’ve got a bunch of blackberries and I make my business with smoke,” he said.

He smoked the blackberries and turned them into a syrup that he mixed with other ingredients for the sauce. He normally avoids liquid smoke in his dishes, preferring to add that smoky flavor naturally, but he added a bit this time so the product would live up to its name.

It’s been a hit since he added it to the menu, pairing it with a salmon special and making it available for the other smoked meats he and his wife, Stacey, serve. He’s had to start rationing it to make sure it would last.

“It’s been very popular,” Hoover said. “With free blackberries, it’s very cost-effective. Once you have to start buying them, it’s not.”

He still has a few gallons left, just in case the members of Blackberry Smoke want to check it out while they’re in town.

“I’d be pretty floored if they did that,” Hoover said.