Bourbon & Coca Cola Steaks

By Ann Fulton

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Typically, we keep steak preparation simple in our house. A sprinkle of spice rub is often as fancy as it gets.

This clever steak marinade, compliments of Michaela Martin Kenkel (who has a delightful blog called An Affair from the Heart), earned points for originality. Until seeing her recipe, I thought of bourbon and Coke as a drink one might enjoy with dinner, not in dinner!

The flavors of this marinade are truly reminiscent of the cocktail and lend a hint of sweetness to the finished product. For those who prefer a strictly savory steak, this recipe may not be ideal. For adventurous grillers who enjoy a sweet and savory flavor profile, this is a fun recipe to try.

Thank you to all who took the time to share your grill recipes with me as a part of the recent Sunday News recipe challenge. I thoroughly enjoy the reader input and welcome your favorite recipes any time, no matter what the category. Who knows? They might just be the inspiration for a future column, blog post, or reader recipe challenge…not to mention a delicious family that my family and I enjoy!

Bourbon & Coca Cola Steaks
Yield: 4 servings
As an option, two pounds of flank steak could be used in place of the strip steaks.
  • ½ cup bourbon
  • 1 cup Coca Cola
  • ⅓ cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (such as Frank’s)
  • ⅓ cup brown sugar, packed
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 4 New York strip steaks
  1. Whisk together all of the marinade ingredients. Place the marinade in a zipper-top bag with the steaks and massage to coat. Place the steaks in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours or overnight (Michaela also suggests freezing the steaks for future use; the steaks will marinate as they thaw).
  2. About 30 minutes before cooking, remove the steaks from the refrigerator to bring them closer to room temperature.
  3. Preheat the grill to medium heat and cook to desired temperature.
  • For those who prefer a little less sweetness, I was thinking that eliminating or reducing the brown sugar and relying on the sweetness of the soda would be worth trying.
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 If you’d like to see more of Michaela’s recipes, pop over to Affair from the Heart and take a peek around.

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  1. Mark Wiggam

    okay so not to be a bourbon snob but, “½ cup bourbon (like Jack Daniel’s)” Jack Daniel’s is not bourbon it’s whiskey and there is a difference. All bourbon is whiskey but, not all whiskey is bourbon.

    1. Ann Post author

      Thank you for your insight, Mark. As you may have read in the lead-in before the recipe, this was a recipe submitted as a part of a recipe challenge…and I can firmly say that bourbon (or whiskey for that matter) is not my strong suit. I just made the correction.

  2. Pingback: The Fountain Avenue Kitchen – Grilling Roundup

  3. Michaela ~ An Affair from the Heart

    Ann, I am so glad that you enjoyed these!! We, too, typically just simply sprinkle salt and pepper on our steaks when we grill, but this recipe intrigued me! I was glad I tried it, such a great flavor! It’s inspired me to try other marinades. I have a great one for pork chops using apple-pie-moonshine! 😉 Thank you for the sweet words and that shout out for my blog! Happy grilling! <3 Michaela

  4. Mary Lou Keller

    Oh now this sounds fabulous Ann! Of course, I would have to use some of the really good Kentucky bourbon.. it IS the best you can find anywhere!

    I think my husband would love this recipe. 🙂

    Have a delightful weekend!

    1. Ann

      I should probably have a bottle of that, Mary Lou!! I thought of you when I made this and hope you–and your husband–enjoy!