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Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze

Delicious spareribs baked in the oven until tender and finished on the grill with a sweet and spicy cherry cola glaze. Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze are the perfect way to celebrate the last holiday of summer.

Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze

The cherry cola glaze is what really makes these ribs spectacular. It’s a little bit of a pain to make but so worth it. First you have to reduce the cherry cola down for a good 45 minutes. Once you add the other ingredients, it has to simmer another 30 minutes or so.

This is a recipe that I’ve slightly adapted from Epicurious (published in Bon Appetit) and I tried it because it has many very high ratings. Interestingly, a bunch of the reviewers complained about an off-putting smell emanating from the glaze as it cooked. But they all said putting up with the smell was worth it because the glaze tastes magical on the ribs.

Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze

Well I didn’t notice much of a bad smell. Maybe because I was prepared for it and expecting something truly fowl. I did agree that the sauce tastes magnificent on the spareribs.

The glaze is a wonderful combination of cherry cola (I’m sure regular cola would work fine), cherry preserves, Dijon mustard, horseradish, soy sauce, apple cider vinegar, and hot sauce.

The recipe calls for pouring the soda into a bowl and letting it lose its effervescence for about 4 hours, aka become flat. But I only let mine sit out for 15 or 20 minutes. I don’t think it matters much, but this recipe would be a great way to use up flat soda that is undrinkable.

Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze

After baking in the oven for 2 hours, the ribs are cut into individual ribs and tossed with glaze. This was a little bit of a pain to do, especially glazing and turning individual ribs on the grill, but it made serving them and eating them much easier so it was a trade-off.

The sauce can be made a few days in advance and I even baked the ribs a day in advance and grilled them right before serving.

Any way you do it, these sticky spareribs brushed generously with spicy, sweet cherry cola glaze are a wonderful way to end the summer grilling season.

Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze

Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze

Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze

Spareribs baked in the oven until tender and then finished on the grill with a sweet and spicy cherry cola glaze.
PREP: 15 minutes
COOK: 2 hours 10 minutes
TOTAL: 2 hours 25 minutes


  • 4 (12-ounce) cans cherry cola, flat
  • 2 cups cherry jam or preserves
  • 2/3 cup Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon prepared horseradish
  • 3 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons tabasco sauce
  • 7 to 7 1/2 pounds well-trimmed pork spareribs


  • Place cola in a Dutch oven or large saucepan and boil over medium-high heat until reduced to 1 1/2 cups, about 45 minutes.
  • Add next 6 ingredients and stir well. Reduce heat to medium and simmer until reduced to 2 1/2 cups, stirring occasionally. This will take about 35 minutes. Remove from heat.
  • Place oven racks in top and bottom thirds of oven and heat oven to 325 degrees.
  • Season ribs with salt and pepper. Wrap each rack tightly in foil. Divide ribs between 2 baking sheets and place in oven for 2 hours. Let ribs cool slightly.
  • Heat grill to medium heat.
  • Cut racks of ribs into individual ribs. Toss with 1 cup of glaze.
  • Grill ribs, basting with extra glaze, for about 2 to 3 minutes per side.
  • Serve with extra glaze.


If possible, use flat soda or pour it into a bowl and let it sit on the counter for 4 hours. But it is ok to skip this step.
Recipe adapted from Epicurious (published in Bon Appetit)


Calories: 1211kcal
Author: Christin Mahrlig
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: Southern

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These ribs go great with Corn on the Cob!

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19 thoughts on “Grilled Spareribs with Cherry Cola Glaze”

  1. We have made this cherry barbecue sauce for quite a few years. We’ve only received rave revues and requests for more. Since it keeps so well for a long period of time, we double the recipe and sometimes add some Bourbon.

  2. Dear Christin, These ribs looks delicious…so juicy. A perfect dish to greet the warmer weather. This just gets me in the mood for summer cookouts. xo, Catherine

  3. I made these for company for Labor Day. They are absolutely delicious! So tender. The sauce makes them! I couldn’t find cherry coke (only diet cherry zero & I don’t cook with aspartame) , so I used Dr. Pepper, & it was great. Our guests said they were “the best homemade ribs” they ever had! Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      That makes me so happy Betty! Dr. Pepper was a great substitute. It really is a wonderful sauce. I’ve been meaning to try it in the crock pot with some pulled pork. Have a lovely week!

  4. Jess @ On Sugar Mountain

    Man, if I could grill at my new place (restrictions with apartment complexes) I would be making this tonight! Cherry cola in a glaze? Sounds and looks to die for, Christin! ๐Ÿ˜€ Hope you enjoy your long weekend!

  5. Lindsey @ American Heritage Cooking

    Wow these look fabulous! Definitely a little bit of a time investment but most good things are ๐Ÿ™‚

    It’s been too long since I’ve had ribs! Definitely will be making this glaze the next time. Perfect for the last day of summer!

  6. Sarah@WholeandHeavenlyOven

    These ribs look PERFECT for Labor Day weekend! Love how sticky and messy they look. Cherry preserves and cola sounds like an awesome glaze!

  7. I have some ribs in the freezer, I am so making that glaze. Cherry cola, WOW!! They look spectacular.

  8. YUM!! I love good meat! haha… this recipe looks like you got the combo of salty and sweet going on!! YUM ๐Ÿ™‚

  9. My husband loves ribs and cherry cola, he would totally die over this recipe! I can’t lie, I’m totally craving some of these ribs right now. Pinning this one!

    1. Christin
      Christin Mahrlig

      You will definitely be licking your fingers when you eat these ๐Ÿ™‚
      Have a great weekend Nicole!

  10. Cindy @ Pick Fresh Foods

    My guys love to make ribs and I think they would love this recipe. I think the cola and cherry preserves sound really amazing as a glaze. Pinning

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