Smoked Wings with Rye Whiskey Peach Sauce

It is peach season in Western Pennsylvania, and nothing shouts summer like Smoked Wings with Rye Whiskey Peach Sauce. These wings are slow roasted  to tender perfection with a rich pecan smoke flavor and finished on the grill to crisp the skin. Oak-aged spirits pair beautifully with peaches (see our Salted Rum Caramel with Grilled Peaches & Ice Cream), and we find that Wigle's Aged Rye Whiskey is the perfect foil to sweet summer peaches and smokey wings. This Carolina inspired barbecue sauce is quick, easy, and versatile -- delicious on everything from these wings to ribs to burgers. 


Yield: Serves 4 


   Smoked Wings:

  • 4 pounds chicken wings
  • 4 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar (optional for smoking)  

   Rye Whiskey Peach Sauce:

  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon coriander powder
  • 2/3 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2/3 cup ketchup
  • 1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 ounces aged rye whiskey (we used Wigle's Organic Aged Rye Whiskey)
  • 3 ripe peaches, pitted and chopped into rough chunks


  1. Using a sharp knife, separate the chicken wings between each joint by slicing through the soft cartilage, not the bones. Put the wing pieces into a gallon zip-top bag.
  2. Add the marinade ingredients (4 tablespoons vinegar, oil, salt, onion powder, garlic powder, black pepper, and turmeric) to the bag, seal, and shake vigorously to mix and distribute the marinade around the wings. Allow the wings to marinate for at least 2 hours (up to a day) in the refrigerator. 
  3. Spread the wings (marinade discarded) onto your smoking racks and smoke at 220 degrees for 2 hours. If using a water bath in the smoker, fill with 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar. I prefer pecan wood smoke for this recipe, with 3 light additions throughout cooking. Do not turn or disturb the wings during smoking. If roasting in an oven, set temp to 220 degrees and place wings on a rack over a pan to catch the drippings. Fill the catch pan with 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar  to provide flavor and moisture during cooking. Roast for 2 hours. There is no need to turn the wings during cooking. 
  4. After smoking/roasting, remove the wings and set aside. They can be refrigerated for up to 1 week at this point or you can move directly to the next step.
  5. To make the Rye Whiskey Peach Sauce, start by sauteing the onion in oil over medium heat for 10 minutes. The onion should be translucent and just starting to brown. Add all the spices (paprika, chili, garlic, cumin, and coriander) and cook for 1 minute. Add the vinegar, Worcestershire, and whiskey, and cook for 2 minutes longer. Add cooked sauce and peach chunks to a blender or food processor, and blend until a smooth puree. The sauce can be stored sealed in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
  6. To finish the wings, grill on high heat for 2-3 minutes per side with the lid down. You are looking to bring the wings evenly up to temperature (if coming from the refrigerator) and giving a smoky charred crust to the outside. Serve wings hot off the grill with generous portions of sauce.