Making your own Salted Caramel Whiskey is a delightful home bar upgrade or the perfect gift for any whiskey lover. Mix it into cocktails, coffee and desserts to bring in the perfect balance of bourbon caramel flavor.
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Salted Caramel Whiskey recipe
The world of flavored whiskey has really taken off in the last few years.
From cinnamon whiskey to peanut butter whiskey, the flavored whiskey aisle is bristling with new flavors all the time. It’s where I draw inspiration for whiskey cocktails and my own whiskey infusions.
One of my favorites is salted caramel whiskey. Sweet vanilla caramel with a touch of flaky sea salt plus warm and oaky whiskey? What a trio. It’s like liquid caramel.
This homemade salted caramel whiskey is easy to make and full of all that delicious flavor. I enjoy giving it as gifts but I usually save a jar for my own home bar!
The method I use does not involve a caramel candy infusion but instead adds a hint of salt and a homemade caramel syrup that’s so easy and inexpensive to put together.
Why you’ll love this recipe
Yes, you can buy caramel whiskey, but it’s usually made with artificial flavorings. Blegh!
- Caramel whiskey is easy to make from home with just a few ingredients.
- You’ll know exactly what’s in it. No artificial flavors, food colors or weird ingredients here!
- Give it as a gift or add it to your home bar to mix into cocktails, coffee and drinks! You can even pour it over vanilla ice cream.
You only need a couple of ingredients to make this easy caramel whiskey.
Caramel syrup is a thinner consistency than caramel sauce. It’s mixed with water to make it easy to mix right into coffee and cocktails.
You can buy caramel syrup or make it yourself. Making it at home is so easy and costs next to nothing, so that always gets my vote.
You’ll need sugar, water and vanilla extract to make it. If you want to make it salted caramel syrup, you can add a pinch of sea salt.
You can use any type of whiskey for this recipe. f you have a favorite, use that. Check out my crash course on this spirit, Whiskey 101, for more about this amazing, versatile spirit.
Bourbon brings its sweet, oaky, vanilla flavor to this caramel whiskey, and it’s a perfect match. You can use just about any bourbon you can find.
Feel free to use rye whiskey or Canadian whiskey (à la Crown Royal Salted Caramel Whisky) instead of bourbon.
As for brands, I’d suggest a medium-priced bottle, something in the $15-20 range. You don’t want to use the highest-end whiskey — save that for sipping neat! My go-to brands are Old Forester, Bulleit, Woodford Reserve and Maker’s Mark.
Flecks of sea salt are amazing on sweet and savory dishes alike. I keep Maldon sea salt on hand for all my cooking, and it’s amazing in this whiskey.
Stay away from iodized salt (table salt), which has a metallic flavor.
You’ll want to add just a pinch, then shake or stir it into the whiskey. Taste and make sure it suits you! It’s hard to walk back salt.
You don’t have to add the salt if you don’t wish to — this caramel whiskey is perfectly sweet and wonderful on its own.
Variations and substitutions
Try one of these variations to make your ultimate after-dinner treat.
Caramel whiskey without salt: You totally don’t have to add the salt to this recipe! Caramel whiskey is still very tasty without salt.
Salted caramel vodka: Instead of whiskey, you can use vodka.
Chocolate caramel whiskey: Add ½ teaspoon of chocolate extract to give the whiskey a subtle chocolate flavor.
How to make Salted Caramel Whiskey
Homemade Salted Caramel Whiskey is so easy to make at home.
First you’ll make an easy caramel syrup that will be mixed with the whiskey.
Combine ¼ cup water and ½ cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until dissolved, about 5 minutes or so. (Low heat will dry it out so make sure the heat is up.)
Then cover the pot while it boils, about 3 minutes. Remove the lid and stir consistently until the mixture is a light amber color.
As soon as it turns colors, remove the syrup from the heat immediately, then let it cool slightly. Stir in the remaining ¼ cup water and vanilla. It will bubble.
Once the syrup has cooled, you can mix it with the whiskey. How much to add will depend on your preference, so add the syrup in small amounts and taste with a spoon until it reaches your desired sweetness.
You will need approximately ½ to 1 ounce for every 3 ounces of whiskey.
What to make with it
Use salted caramel whiskey in these unique cocktail recipes.
Try it in a classic old-fashioned with a caramel twist. Add some chocolate bitters for a sip of the ultimate confection.
Blend it to a boozy milkshake like these caramel macchiato milkshakes.
It would also be so good in a classic Moscow mule with ginger and lime juice.
More homemade liqueurs
- ½ cup water, divided
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Salted caramel whiskey
- 1 ounce caramel syrup
- 7 ounces whiskey (bourbon or rye)
- pinch of salt, for salted caramel vodka, optional
- Combine ¼ cup water and ½ cup sugar in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Stir until dissolved, about 5 minutes or so. (Low heat will dry out the sugar so make sure the heat is at medium-high.)
- Cover the pot while it boils, about 3 minutes. Remove the lid and stir consistently until the mixture is a light amber color.
- As soon as the color change occurs, remove from heat immediately. Cool slightly.
- Stir in the remaining ¼ cup water and vanilla extract, if using.
- Once the syrup has cooled slightly, stir it and a pinch of salt into the whiskey. Taste and add more syrup and salt if desired.
Salted caramel vodka: Add a pinch of sea salt to the vodka and shake until dissolved. Add another pinch if desired.
Caramel whiskey: Use your favorite bourbon to make caramel bourbon instead.
When you heat the sugar and water together, low heat will dry out the sugar so make sure the heat is set to medium-high.
How sweet and flavorful you’d like the whiskey depends on your taste, so add the syrup in small amounts. Taste it with a spoon after each addition and add more if desired. You will need approximately ½ to 1 ounce for every 3 ounces of whiskey.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1 ounce
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 125Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 30mgCarbohydrates: 15gFiber: 0gSugar: 15gProtein: 0g