Hot caramel milk with bourbon is a luscious blend of milk and caramel with just a hint of alcohol. Sweet. Mellow. Toasty. Cosy. Indulgent. This hot drinking caramel recipe is comfort in a mug.
This hot caramel milk recipe is a blend of homemade caramel sauce, milk and a restrained hint of bourbon.
But I bet you’re wondering why I didn’t just create a caramel milk steamer, add a stiff (aka large) shot of Bourbon and be done with it.
Don’t get me wrong, the Bourbon loaded drink does sound lush. However, for once (and only once) I didn’t particularly want to create an intensely alcoholic drink that would knock your socks off and… hic… render you useless for the rest of the day or night.
I wanted to devise a more subtle drink that was indulgent, warming and comforting. I wanted sweet, mellow, toasty notes that make you feel cosy as you sip it. In addition, I wanted to make a hot caramel milk drink that could be enjoyed at pretty much any time of day
Too much Bourbon would have upset the mix in this drinking caramel. Only a small measure is needed to keep that balance of flavours.
How to Make this Hot Caramel Milk Recipe
If you can make caramel sauce then you can easily make this drinking caramel.
To avoid measuring out piddly amounts of alcohol each time you want to enjoy this caramel milk drink I've created a bourbon caramel sauce. It is this sauce that is used as the base flavouring in this hot caramel milk drink:
- Put the water into a heavy based saucepan and spread the sugar on top in an even layer
- Allow the sugar to gradually melt over a medium heat, swirling the pan a couple of times to ensure the caramel cooks evenly
- Once the sugar has melted, the caramel will begin to darken. Continue to let it cook until it reaches a lovely amber colour
- Add the cream and the salt and mix with a small handheld whisk until fully incorporated
- Stir in the Bourbon
Once the sauce is ready, it's a simple case of blending a portion into some steamed milk and serving, preferably with a generous swirl of cream on top of the glass and a dusting of cinnamon or nutmeg.
If you don't have a coffee machine with a steaming arm it's fine to use hot milk for this recipe instead.
I don't like Bourbon. What else could I use?
Bourbon and milk are a winning combination in my mind. But if this spirit is not your thing, or if you fancy a change, there are alternatives:
- Dark rum (or even spiced rum) makes a wonderful addition to this drink in place of the bourbon
- Likewise, you could also try a splash either brandy or straight whisky as alternatives.
Of course, you can leave out the alcohol completely and enjoy a T-Total version. That’s exactly what I do if I’m planning on treating my girls to this hot caramel milk drink.
That said, my advice is not to ditch the Bourbon unless you really have to since Bourbon and milk are naturals together.
In this drinking caramel the Bourbon imparts warmth & toastiness to the sweet vanilla notes of the caramel. This luscious blend of flavours makes this steamed milk recipe immensely pleasurable to slurp when the chilly winds of autumn and the long, dark nights of winter wrap around us.
Pair it with a slice of fruit & nut caramel shortbread. But don't blame me if you form a new addiction.
Find More Alcoholic Hot Drinks:
- Boozy gingerbread latte
- Coconut liqueur coffee
- Coffee with blackcurrant & almond
- Mulled gin & tonic
Bourbon Caramel Steamer
For the Caramel Sauce
- 2 tbsp water
- 125g/ ⅔ cup caster sugar
- 120ml/ ½ cup double (heavy) cream
- ¼ tsp vanilla extract (optional)
- ¼ tsp sea salt flakes
- 3 tbsp Bourbon
For the Bourbon Caramel Steamer (per serving)
- 200ml/ ¾ cup whole (full fat) milk
- 40ml / 2 tbsp + 2 tsp caramel sauce
- whipped cream
- freshly grated nutmeg
Make the Caramel Sauce
- Put the water into a heavy based saucepan. Spread the sugar on top in an even layer
- Set the pan over a medium heat and allow the sugar to gradually melt. As it melts you can gently swirl the pan a couple of times to ensure the caramel cooks evenly, but do not stir it
- Once the sugar has melted, the caramel will begin to darken. Continue to let it cook until it reaches a lovely amber colour (but keep a close eye on the caramel as it can burn easily)
- Add the cream and the salt, taking care as it can bubble up and is extremely hot. Mix with a small handheld whisk until fully incorporated
- Stir in the Bourbon. Set aside
Make the Bourbon Caramel Steamers
- Put the milk in a pan and warm until steaming hot and just beginning to bubble at the edges
- Meanwhile, warm the serving glass and spoon in the caramel sauce
- Pour the steaming milk over the caramel and stir until completely melted
- Top with whipped cream and a dusting of freshly grated nutmeg
- Enjoy immediately