Cherry Chipotle Cola BBQ Sauce. Yes, you read that right. I, The Kitchen Whisperer – hater of EVERYTHING cherry, made a recipe that has cherries in it; not just once, but two different ways. ANNNNNNNNNNND liked it. BUT but but wait, this does not mean I like cherries cause I don’t. I hate those little demon seeds but in this recipe, the flavors really accent the chipotle heat and balance it out beautifully. This recipe just kind of happened…sorta. It honesty was by total accident on account I tripped over my own two feet and ended up with this…
…this glorious, magnificent, spicy, sweet, thick bbq sauce that literally you cannot get enough of! No seriously, we both went nuts over this. And it so happened the day I made this we had company so I had one of Mr. Fantabulous’ buddies try this on wings. Yeah, there were no wings left and they both were fighting over the sauce leftover.
So if you’ve never met me I’m sure you kind of wonder ‘is she for real? Does she expect us to think this recipe just happened???’ however when I say it, it’s true. If you know me, well, you know how my mind works – as scary as it is! This recipe came about by my trying to juggle 17 bags of groceries and a 12 pack of soda all at once – with a bad shoulder (that I’m having yet another surgery on in November) into the house cause I didn’t want to make more than one trip. Mr. Fantabulous was nowhere to be found and I had to pee (again, justifying why I had to carry them all at once).
You’ve been there – a trunk full of groceries, no one around to help you lug them in and you thinking you have the strength to carry it all in, in a single trip without smashing the bread, breaking an egg or dropping a single thing.
Well I did make it in okay, did my lady business and then proceeded to put everything away. As I was putting the soda in the fridge (he was on a cherry coke binge), the phone rang and when I went to grab it I tripped over some of the grocery bags on the floor, the 2 cans of soda went flying and down I went… about as graceful as a hippo.
I was fine as the very hard floor tile broke my fall however… yes, however. The 2 cans of soda weren’t so lucky. As I picked them both up they were bubbling and ‘hissing’ around the opening. Thankfully the cans didn’t open up fully as I would have had a lovely sticky mess in my kitchen but they did open enough that if I didn’t something with them they would surely have gone flat. And the only thing flat coke is good for is an upset stomach. But I wasn’t sick and it would have been flat cherry coke <insert 7-year-old-girl-squinched-up yuck face>.
So I HAD to use them in something. I already had dessert made so that was out. Honestly this was the only thing I could think of to use it in. I started with a basic bbq sauce and then evolved it into something spectacular! I know, right! My saying something with anything cherry in it is spectacular is unheard of! Now I’ve cooked with soda before and you need to cook it down to really concentrate the flavors otherwise you’re just left with a ton of liquid.
I dumped both cans in a pot and then cooked it over medium-high til it reduced quite a bit. The mixture will get thick but you don’t want it super thick to where it’s almost tar-like. So just reduce it to where you’re left with about a 1/2 cup or so of the mixture. Once I had that, I started adding in my bbq sauce basics – ketchup, apple cider vinegar and brown sugar.
A quick taste of it and I found it incredibly sweet. I mean that makes sense as all I really added was some acidity to just sugar. To balance out the flavors I added in a chipotle pepper and some adobo sauce cause those are the hottest things this summer. Plus I seriously love them! Garlic is always a must in bbq sauce. However what I ended up with after that was a good sauce but not a great sauce. It wasn’t balanced yet. It was a bit more on the heat side
So I dug through my pantry and AH HA! I had a bag of tart dried cherries. Mr. Fantabulous LOVES these things to snack on though he makes the tart fish-lipped face every time he eats them as they are super tart. I dropped a bunch into the mixture and let it cook away.
The cherries got fat and plump and the mixture got dark and thick. Now I’m not a fan of chunky sauces (OMG I’d die if there were chunks of tomatoes or onions in my pasta sauce) I whipped out my immersion blender and blended away. The mixture was thick, dark in color and smelled heavenly!
That night I made those wings for the boys I gave his buddy a quart jar to take home as he loved it so much. Since first making it, I’ve made so many quarts of this stuff and used it in a bajillion different ways.
You’re so going to love this sauce!Print
- 2 12 ounce cans Cherry Cola (not diet)
- 1 1/2 cups ketchup
- 2 chipotle peppers in adobo sauce, seeded and chopped
- 1 tablespoon adobo sauce
- 3 1/2 teaspoon garlic, chopped
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 3/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3/4 cup dried cherries
- In a medium sauce pot, add in the cola.
- Bring to a boil and cook on medium-high until it has reduced to about 1/2 cup. ~10-15 minutes (watch so it doesn’t burn)
- Add in the rest of the ingredients, stir, reducing the heat to medium and bring to a boil.
- Reduce to a simmer and cook until thick and dark. ~8-10 minutes.
- Remove from the heat and using an immersion blender, blend until no pieces remain. If you don’t have an immersion blender, pour in a blender venting the lid.
- Store in a jar in the fridge.
In this recipe I used this Immersion Blender. I’ve had it for years and absolutely love it! Every home cook and baker needs this! I HIGHLY recommend it!