Whiskey Cola Marinade Recipe

Grilled ribs with whiskey cola marinade.
GO!/Sam Reinders/Gallo Images/Getty Images
Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Marinade: 12 hrs
Total: 12 hrs 5 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
121 Calories
4g Fat
10g Carbs
0g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 121
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g 5%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 255mg 11%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 0g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 3mg 0%
Iron 0mg 1%
Potassium 24mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

What if we took that familiar combination of whiskey and cola and transformed it into a marinade? Wonderful things happen and this quick and easy recipe could be your new favorite when it comes to great barbecue.

This whiskey and cola marinade is very simple to mix up and should take just a few minutes to prepare. It is also possible that you have everything in your kitchen and bar already, so there is no hassle in finding specialty ingredients.

Once mixed, this marinade can be used on your favorite grilling meat. It works wonders on pork chops and baby back ribs though it is pretty universal and should be a great addition to almost anything you want to barbecue.

For the best results, allow this marinade to soak into the meat overnight or for at least 8 to 12 hours. You can get away with making it up first thing in the morning and have a perfect marinade ready for the evening grill.


  • 1 (12-ounce can) cola

  • 1/2 cup American whiskey

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce

  • 1/2 teaspoon lime juice

  • 1 pinch salt

  • 1 pinch freshly ground black pepper

Steps to Make It

  1. Combine all of the ingredients in a mixing bowl.

  2. Using a whisk, stir briskly to ensure that everything is completely mixed together.

  3. Pour marinade over meat the meat of your choice.

  4. Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 12 hours, turning once during the marinating process to ensure all sides soak up the sauce.

Which whiskey is best for the marinade?

There is not much mystery to this whiskey and cola marinade: a can of cola and a cup of whiskey mixed with common kitchen ingredients. It is the whiskey that you choose that will define, more than anything else, the final flavor. The recipe recommends "American whiskey" and that is a very broad category. It could include bourbon, a myriad of blended whiskies, Tennessee whiskey, or any other style of whiskey that is produced in the United States. Using that recommendation, the flavor profile is all over the map.

  • You could try a Tennessee whiskey that already has some of that charcoal flavor that you are going to get out of a charcoal grill. It has also been proven many times over as a perfect whiskey for grilling. Think of all the barbecue sauces and marinades that already use it and you will quickly realize that it is a logical choice.
  • Otherwise, a great bourbon would be a nice choice. You'll want something with a bold flavor that will break through the cola, so try a strong whiskey that's over 80 proof. More mellow whiskey flavors, like those found in blended whiskeys, are also viable for food and have been known to create some amazing marinades.
  • The best advice would be to use what you like and are used to. Also, this recipe is so easy that it is not difficult to experiment with. Worst case scenario is that you have to try again and enjoy another barbecue

Edited by Colleen Graham