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Sticky Lemonade Chicken Drumsticks

Cooking Method
Cuisine ,
Difficulty Beginner
Prep Time: 15 min Cook Time: 30 min Total Time: 45 mins

An incredibly low-input but maximum flavour recipe. Chicken drumsticks are fantastic vehicles for flavour. This recipe uses the bright sharpness of lemonade and the depth of molasses and soy sauce to deliver a succulent, flavour-packed, moreish dish suitable for any day of the year!

Yield: 8-10 Chicken Drumsticks

  • 2 lb free-range organic chicken drumsticks
  • 1 litre still lemonade
  • 3 tbsp dark soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp soft dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch (optional)
How To Make Lemonade Chicken Drumsticks Step By Step
  1. Lemonade Chicken Step 1

    In a large bowl, combine the lemonade, dark soy sauce, brown sugar, rosemary and garlic. Stir to combine and carefully tumble in the chicken drumsticks. Cover and marinate in the fridge for at least 2 hours but ideally overnight.

  2. Lemonade Chicken Step 2

    The next day, preheat the oven to 400F. Remove the chicken drumsticks and empty half of the marinade into a saucepan (through a sieve to catch the garlic and rosemary). Place the saucepan over medium heat, uncovered, and allow the liquid to reduce to half. Tumble in the cornstarch (if using) and whisk to combine - the sauce should thicken very quickly, remove from the heat and empty into a heatproof bowl. If you’re opting for a thinner glaze, omit the cornstarch.

  3. Whilst the sauce is reducing, line a roasting tray with aluminium foil and place a rack on top. Space the chicken drumsticks apart and cook for 20 minutes at the top of the oven.

    Lemonade Chicken Step 3-1

    Lemonade Chicken Step 3-2

  4. Lemonade Chicken Step 4

    Retrieve the sauce and using a pastry brush, coat the chicken drumsticks generously before returning to the oven for 10 more minutes.

  5. Lemonade Chicken step 5

    Allow the chicken drumsticks to rest for 5-10 minutes, then enjoy them warm!


It’s important to rest the drumsticks for at least 5 minutes after removing them from the oven. As we’re cooking the chicken at a fairly high temperature, there is always a chance the chicken may dry out. Leaving it to rest ensures the juices will flow back inside the meat ensuring succulent chicken!