Grilled Cheerwine Chicken Wings

(Yield: 12 servings)

An unexpected sauce meets perfectly spiced game-day wings


Chefs’ notes: “We love how the Cheerwine wings have that deep burgundy color and how the sweet black cherry glaze balances the spice. When it comes to grilling, embrace the char—it helps the sauce stick.”


    • 1 liter Cheerwine soda

    • 1 tbsp. minced garlic

    • 2 tbsp. cornstarch

    • 2 tbsp. water

    • 1⁄4 cup lime juice

    • 1⁄4 cup soy sauce

    • 1 tbsp. red pepper chile flakes

    • 48 chicken wings (or drumettes)

    • Salted ranch dressing, for serving

    • Blue cheese dressing, for serving

    • Carrot and celery sticks, for serving


  1. Make the sauce: Pour Cheerwine into a saucepan and simmer on the stove until reduced by half, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, toast minced garlic in a toaster oven for a few minutes until crispy (or on a lined sheet pan in a 350°F oven for 5 to 7 minutes). Mix cornstarch and water in a bowl to make a slurry. Bring reduced Cheerwine to a boil and whisk in cornstarch mixture to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in lime juice, soy sauce, toasted garlic, and chile flakes. Set aside until ready to use (refrigerate if you’re making in advance to bring to tailgate).

  2. Grill the wings: Prepare a charcoal grill for medium-high heat. When coals are ready, arrange chicken on oiled grill grates, cooking in batches as needed. Brush with Cheerwine barbecue sauce. Cook, turning every few minutes, applying more sauce often, until the chicken’s internal temperature reaches 165°F, about 15 to 20 minutes. Pull the wings off the grill and toss with the remaining sauce in a mixing bowl. Serve with ranch or blue cheese dressing, along with carrots and celery, if desired.