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Hot Honey Whiskey Wings are spicy, sweet, and smoky. They are ideal for game day gatherings or any time you want to bust out the grill! The sticky glaze packs in the flavor and you’ll be happily licking your fingers clean with every bite.
about these hot honey whiskey wings
Finger-lickin’ good wings are my personal favorite of all the football foods that are out there.
We are currently getting deeper into the football season, and I find myself constantly gravitating back to them.
These hot honey whiskey wings are a whole new take on wings that you are going to fall head over heels for. The inspiration actually came as I was tasting a honey whiskey and eating wings at the same time. In my mind, I was like, “hey, this is all pretty freakin good together!”
I noted it down in my ever-expanding list of recipe ideas, and when I was looking for a new way to make wings, it jumped right out at me.
The recipe starts with grilled wings, hot off the grill with just the right amount of crispness from the skin.
The sauce is spicy, sweet, and smoky, giving you a sticky glaze that’ll have you licking your fingers clean.
It’s an easy recipe to bust out for game day or any fall party when you want to bust out the grill (before it snows!).
chicken wings. I highly recommend buying your chicken wings whole and breaking them down yourself into drummettes and flats. It only takes 5 minutes and you save a lot of money doing the work yourself. You can also ask your butcher to break them down for you.
oil. You will need both canola oil and olive oil for this recipe.
garlic. Garlic is a must for so many recipes, so I always have a jar of minced garlic in my fridge. No smelly hands, no peeling garlic. The best shortcut to pay for.
whiskey. I recommend using rye whiskey for this recipe, but it’s actually made to go with your favorite kind of whiskey. If you prefer scotch or bourbon, you can swap the rye out for those!
sugar. you only need brown sugar for this recipe. I prefer to use light brown sugar here but you can use dark brown sugar if that’s what you have on hand.
honey. If you prefer, you can swap out honey for agave.
broth. You will need chicken broth for this recipe.
soy sauce. Feel free to use your favorite brand here. You can also opt for low-sodium soy sauce if you prefer (that’s my personal favorite!).
hot sauce. I like to use Cholula in this recipe, but you can also use Frank’s RedHot Sauce. Just choose whichever hot sauce is your favorite!
spices. Salt, pepper, and cayenne pepper are all that’s needed.
butter. Be sure to use unsalted butter for this recipe, as salted will alter the flavor of the sauce.
this recipe’s must haves
If you are breaking down the chicken wings yourself, you’ll need a plastic cutting board and either a high quality chef’s knife or butcher knife.
The grill I always recommend is this Traeger grill. This is such a great grill and it’s lasted me years! You’ll also need tongs to turn the wings on the grill.
Finally grab the largest of your mixing bowls to toss the wings in the sauce.
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here’s how to make hot honey whiskey wings
In a large bowl, toss the wings with the salt and pepper to taste, coating them evenly. Set aside and preheat your grill to high heat (400˚F). Lightly oil the grill grates with canola oil.
Place wings on the grill and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, turning then halfway through cooking, until the skin crisps up and the wings are cooked through. To know they are cooked through, measure the internal temp with a meat thermometer. It should register at 165˚F.
Add oil for the sauce to a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add garlic and sauté for about 1 to 2 minutes.
Whisk in whiskey, sugar, honey, broth, soy sauce, hot sauce, cayenne, and salt. Bring to a boil and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until thick and syrupy. Remove from heat and stir in butter until melted.
In the last 5 minutes of cooking, brush the wings with the glaze and cook until they are cooked through.
toss to coat
Remove the wings from the grill and add to a large, clean bowl. Toss to coat the wings in the remaining sauce. Serve with dipping sauce!
tips for success
preheat the grill. Don’t forget to preheat the grill! I let mine preheat, and then let it run for about 15 minutes before adding the wings. This will help them cook evenly!
skip the dipping sauce. These wings have so much flavor, there’s no need for a dipping sauce to pair with it! If you really want to dip it in some ranch or blue cheese dressing, you totally can.
More tasty chicken wing recipes to check out: Honey BBQ Grilled Chicken Wings | Cacio e Pepe Grilled Wings | Dry Rub Wings | Crispy Korean BBQ Chicken Wings
when do you coat the wings in the sauce?
First you are going to brush the wings on the grill while they cook! The wings are also tossed in the hot honey whiskey sauce after they are cooked through. Simply remove them from the grill to a large bowl. Pour over the sauce and toss to coat well!
how do I keep chicken wings from sticking to the grill?
Use oil. I like to wet a paper towel with canola oil and rub it on the grate using tongs. It’s super easy and you can even do it when the grill is hot if you forget to do it before preheating (like I always do!).
can I use frozen wings?
Yes you can! If you choose to use frozen wings, make sure to completely thaw them before starting this recipe. The easiest way to do this is to leave them in the refrigerator overnight!
my sauce didn’t thicken. what do I do?
If you are having a hard time getting the sauce to thicken, I will say it can take a little time and you may need to up the heat slightly.
For those of you who want a shortcut, simply add in a little cornstarch slurry! Mix together 1 tsp cornstarch with 1 tsp water. Whisk into the sauce as it cook and this can help the sauce thicken up more to your desired consistency.
Need some more inspiration for appetizer recipes? Check out my appetizers recipe page!
what to serve with hot honey whiskey wings
This is one of those recipes that goes perfectly with whiskey (neat or on the rocks!). You could also pair them with a classic whiskey cocktail, like an old fashioned and a manhattan!
If you are serving these for a party, here’s some of my favorite party pairings for this recipe:
- For refreshment, this perfect manhattan punch is a fun take on the classic cocktail, meant to serve a crowd!
- Looking for more appetizers to serve for a party spread? I love to whip out the chips and dip. Try out this chunky salsa or this chipotle chili cheese dip with your favorite chips.
Finally, if you make these hot honey whiskey wings, please be sure to give this recipe a rating or leave a comment! I love to hear when you all make recipes, and I do take the time to respond to every single comment. Feel free to drop questions below too, if you have them!
Oh and be sure to tag me on Instagram if you make the recipe! Love being able to see these recipes come to live in your homes – it’s my favorite thing to look through those photos. It really means the world to me!
Hot Honey Whiskey Wings
Spicy, sweet, and smoky, these grilled chicken wings are a hit!
- 4 lbs chicken wings, broken down into drummettes and flats
- Canola oil
- Salt and pepper, to taste
Hot Honey Whiskey Wings
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 6 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/4 cup rye whiskey (you can also use scotch whisky or bourbon, if you prefer)
- 1/2 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup chicken broth
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 Tbsp hot sauce
- 1 tsp cayenne
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 4 tbsp unsalted butter
- In a large bowl, toss the wings with the salt and pepper to taste, coating them evenly. Set aside and preheat your grill to high heat (400˚F). Lightly oil the grill grates with canola oil.
- Place wings on the grill and cover. Cook for 30 minutes, turning then halfway through cooking, until the skin crisps up and the wings are cooked through.
- Heat oil in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 to 2 minutes. Add in whiskey, sugar, honey, broth, soy sauce, hot sauce, cayenne and salt. Bring to a boil and cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until thick and syrupy.
- Remove from heat, stir in butter until melted.
- In the last 5 minutes of grilling the wings, brush them with the sauce and cover until cooked through. To know they are cooked through, measure the internal temp with a meat thermometer. It should register at 165˚F.
- Toss wings in sauce.
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