Food: Bourbon Caramel Sauce

This week, let’s talk about three words we all love to hear.  Bourbon Caramel Sauce. Not what you were thinking? Well trust me, this sauce will keep them coming back for more. To start, it calls for bourbon, so you know it will be good.  Secondly, caramel? I mean, who doesn’t like sweet creamy warm caramel? I don’t think we can be bourbon friends if you don’t like caramel. Lastly, it’s a sauce. A sauce! That means you can pour this on anything.  ANYTHING. What’s not to love?

This sauce takes less than 15 minutes to prepare and keeps for about a week in the fridge.  That is if you can stay out of after you make it! It really is easy to make and it is soooo good.  It can take the simplest dessert and turn it into a decadent dish of deliciousness. Pour some over a bowl of vanilla ice cream, it’ll make you weak in the knees. 

Ingredients:  pre-measured before you begin

bourbon caramel sauce.jpg
  • 1 cup of sugar
  • ¼ cup of water
  • *1 tbsp of pure maple syrup (tis the season, but you can omit this if you prefer)
  • ½ cup of heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp of bourbon, plus 2 oz
  • ½ tsp of salt (you can also use kosher salt; I like using fleur to sel, ‘cause I’m fancy like that)



The Bourbon Caramel Sauce will need your undivided attention for about 12-15 minutes.  Do not check the score of the game, do not respond to that text message. Trust me, it’ll be worth it.

  1. Pour 2 oz of bourbon in a whiskey glass.  While you swirl the pot, you can sip your bourbon and dream about all the things you will pour this sauce over and it will also distract you from checking your phone.
  2. Combine sugar, water and maple syrup (if using) in a heavy saucepan over medium heat.  As tempting as it may be, DO NOT STIR the mixture. You will need to gently SWIRL the pot, over the heat, frequently.   As you swirl, you will see the sugar crystals start to dissolve.
  3. While swirling, the mixture will come to a gentle boil.  Keep swirling until the sugar turns a nice amber color, kind of like the color of your bourbon.  This will take about 12-15 minutes. As soon as it turns amber, remove it from the heat immediately.  It can go from amber to burned sugar very quickly. Amber = off the heat.
  4. Slowly whisk in the cream.  Return to the heat. Add the bourbon and salt.  Let it come to a boil, stirring constantly for 1 minute than remove from heat.  Done! I know you want to stick your finger in there and taste it, but you’ll just burn your finger.  Let it cool down a bit. You’ve been warned.


The longer you keep this, I find the more the boozy bourbon flavor starts to stand out.   You can reheat it gently on the stove or in the microwave. I recommend storing it in a microwaveable glass jar for easy reheating.    

Now picture your favorite homemade pound cake or even store bought cake (we won’t judge, it’s dessert and everyone loves dessert).  Spoon some of the warm Caramel Bourbon Sauce over top. Proudly announce that you made that sauce from scratch. Try it over bread pudding, waffles, french toast, pancakes, strudels or pies.  Oh yes, warm apple pie. Hell, throw a scoop of ice cream on that warm apple pie and drizzle the warm sauce over top. So so good.

Let us know how you used your Bourbon Caramel Sauce, we love new ideas!   Enjoy!


Maureen Linehan


Jordan GrigsbyComment