Recipes, Drinks & Cocktails

Salted Caramel Cocktails

If you’ve been looking for the ultimate fall treat-yourself moment, look no further. These salted caramel cocktails are rich, creamy, and decidedly decadent, so put on your coziest sweater and put your feet up by the fire. You’re staying in tonight. 

What is it about fall that makes a night spent at home so epically satisfying? As the leaves start to change in earnest and the nights get dark and chilly, I find myself wanting to spend the days outside, enjoying the last bit of warm sun, then holing up on the comfiest corner of the couch for the evening. A new book, a scary movie, a board game, good conversation – all of these things feel very fall to me, and all deserve an equally autumnal drink to accompany them.

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Even if you're not in a part of the world with a full-on change of season, the produce and popular dishes of autumn cry out for robust spirits and richer drinks. This cocktail is definitely in the dessert category, but it won't leave you with a toothache – it’s not incredibly sugary. In fact, you might want to add a splash more caramel than the recipe calls for if you reeeeally want your sweet tooth satisfied. We all have different preferences when it comes to sweetness, so this is a fall drink recipe that definitely benefits from some wiggle room in that area.

I prefer Applejack (which you can read about in this post) as a base spirit here; it’s smooth, but has enough punch to stand up to the richness of the cream and caramel. You can try it with bourbon as well, if you’re looking for something on the boozier side of the flavor spectrum. 

Most Moscow Mule mugs, like this gorgeous one from Oggi, are actually quite large, and can hold two full servings of this cocktail. I like to pour a double batch and serve it with two straws for sharing. You can also use a metal julep cup, which tend to be smaller, instead. 

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My favorite garnish for these salted caramel cocktails, if you can find them, are mini stroopwafels. If you haven’t had the buttery, caramel-y goodness that is a stroopwafel, stop what you’re doing and track one down immediately. The big ones are truly mind-blowing when you let them sit over a cup of hot coffee and warm up. I found these tiny ones at Trader Joe’s and promptly polished off half a dozen. If you can’t get your hands on them, a nice fat salted caramel will do just fine it its place – or you could just go ahead and use both.

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Salted Caramel Cocktails

theinspiredhome.com
INGREDIENTS

1.5 oz applejack (or bourbon for a decidedly stronger flavor)

1 oz half and half

.75 oz salted caramel syrup (see below)

1 hearty squeeze of fresh lime

1 dash orange bitters

Pinch of kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

(1) Combine all in a cocktail shaker filled with ice, adding the half and half last to prevent curdling.

(2) Shake and strain into a metal cup filled with lots of ice. Garnish with a salted caramel, a mini stroopwafel, or both. 

Salted Caramel Syrup

theinspiredhome.com
INGREDIENTS

400 g granulated sugar

400 ml water + 1 oz

½ tsp Kosher salt

DIRECTIONS

Add a small amount of water (about 1 oz) to the bottom of a pot. Pour 400 grams of granulated sugar over the water and heat over medium, stirring occasionally, until the mixture turns a deep amber color and starts to smell almost (but not quite) burned. Immediately add 400 ml of water (it will boil and sizzle violently, which is why I use a pot for this) and remove from heat. Stir the mixture until everything is dissolved, then add ½ tsp of kosher salt. Stir until salt is dissolved, then let cool and store in fridge.

*Adapted from Dave Arnold's Liquid Intelligence

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