A drop of Caramel Cream Liqueur on a cool evening is quite a treat. The smooth and warming taste of Bourbon compliments the creamy caramel flavour of this drink superbly. This fantastic creamy tipple should delight caramel lovers.
Since creating this little blog I’ve developed a habit – creating a new homemade cream liqueur in the autumn and winter. I’ve always relished a glass of Baileys in the cooler months, so dreaming up a small family of homemade cream-based tipples was an obvious step for me to take. This year I’ve splashed bourbon and caramel into the mix to come up with a simple to make caramel bourbon cream liqueur.
This is my first venture into bourbon cream liqueurs. Let me tell you that bourbon and caramel make a beautiful union together at the best of times, especially in baking. I’ve even been known to incorporate this flavour combination into ice cream. But when put into creamy boozy liquid form, the result is quite spectacularly decadent.
This caramel cream liqueur manages to be:
- silky smooth
- sweet, with back-notes of vanilla and butter
- warming, with a luscious hum of bourbon
If you like creamy drinks, bourbon and caramel, then put this homemade cream liqueur onto your must-make list.
Ingredients for Homemade Caramel Cream Liqueur
The recipe for this caramel bourbon cream liqueur requires the caramel to be made from scratch. Since it is going to be diluted by the cream and bourbon I have amplified the salt and vanilla that I would ordinarily use when making this volume of caramel. For this reason, I fully recommend making your own caramel.
If, however, time is short and a storebought caramel is substituted, then consider adding a touch of vanilla extract and a pinch of finely ground salt to the caramel bourbon cream liqueur to taste.
This recipe also calls for single cream. This is an 18% fat cream readily available in the supermarket in the UK. Half and half is an acceptable substitution in the US. If in doubt, read the nutritional data on the back of the options available to you and pick the one closest to 18%.
On the subject of cream, pick cream that has a good shelf life to ensure that the liqueur can last a few weeks once made. This is not the time to pick up a carton of at date cream that is going cheap. – it will likely shorten the lifespan of your liqueur.
How do I Make Caramel Cream Liqueur?
The only vaguely challenging part of making this bourbon cream liqueur is cooking the caramel. But even that is not difficult:
- Put the caster sugar (in an even layer) in a heavy-based saucepan and let it cook over a moderate heat, swirling around the pan a couple of times to cook evenly. The sugar should first melt, then turn a lovely amber colour
- Once the sugar has dissolved and the colour is deep amber, carefully add the butter and cream. The mixture may bubble up a little. And don’t worry if the caramel solidifies in places
- Put the pan back on a gentle heat and cook for around 2 minutes more, stirring frequently until it is smooth. Do not let the caramel boil
- Take the caramel off the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla extract. Set aside to cool completely
Once this delicious treat has cooled it is then blended with condensed milk, cream and bourbon.
Before mixing the caramel with the cream, ensure that all equipment is scrupulously clean – even the bottle you plan to decant the liqueur into. Particularly pay attention to utensils and pans that may have come into contact with acidic food such as lemon juice or vinegar. These substances will curdle the cream and ruin the liqueur, so it is vital to eradicate them from the outset.
The Best Way to Store Homemade Cream Liqueur
For around 20 minutes hand-on work, the reward is a silky smooth creamy nectar than displays toasty bourbon and caramel notes. But since this caramel bourbon cream liqueur contains fresh cream, it does need to be stored in the fridge. Like most homemade cream liqueurs, this beauty contains no preservatives so leaving it out at room temperature will mean it deteriorates quickly and may even curdle overnight.
If you had plans to gift a few bottles to family and friends just ensure that they know to store your parcel in the fridge from the outset – even if it’s still wrapped up.
This caramel centric bourbon cream liqueur will keep for at least 3 weeks if stored correctly.
Can I Make Salted Caramel Cream Liqueur Instead?
In short – yes you can. How potent you like your salted caramel is subjective – try increasing the salt content of the caramel to 1 teaspoon for a gentle buzz.
More Homemade Cream Liqueur Recipes to Try:
Bourbon Caramel Cream Liqueur
- 100 g/ ½ cup Caster sugar
- 30 g/ 1 oz Butter
- 75 ml/ 5 tbsp Double (heavy) cream
- ½ teaspoon Salt
- 1 teaspoon Vanilla extract
- 90 ml/ 6 tbsp Condensed milk
- 250 ml/ 1 cup Single cream see notes
- 250 ml/ 1 cup Bourbon
Make the Caramel
- Make the caramel by putting the caster sugar (in an even layer) in a heavy-based saucepan and let cook over a moderate heat, swirling around the pan a couple of times to cook evenly. The sugar should first melt, then turn a lovely amber colour
- Once the sugar has dissolved and the colour is deep amber, carefully add the butter and cream. Take care as the mixture may bubble up. Don't worry if the caramel solidifies in places. Put the pan back on a gentle heat and cook for around 2 minutes more, stirring frequently until it is smooth. Do not let the caramel boil
- Meanwhile, grind the sea salt in a pestle and mortar. Take the caramel off the heat and stir in the salt and vanilla extract. Set aside to cool completely
Make the Caramel Cream Liqueur
- Put the bourbon into a jug or pan and add the cream, condensed milk and caramel sauce
- Whisk with a mini hand whisk until everything is well combined
- Decant into a sealable bottle and store in the fridge
- Use within 3-4 weeks. If a few soft lumps form after a week or two, don't panic – simply pour into a jug and beat with a balloon whisk until smooth again.
Hi! I can’t wait to try your recipe, I’d like to use it in my Christmas baskets, can it keep for longer that 3-4 weeks? Or is that how long you let it sit for before using? As I know some need to sit for a month or so!
Hi Kristine, so pleased you’re liking the sound of this liqueur.
As it’s made with fresh cream and doesn’t contain preservatives it does need to be used within the 3-4 week period. It might last longer but I wouldn’t like to guarantee it – do ensure you use very fresh cream rather than cream near its use by date to stand the best chance of it lasting longer and also remember that, due to the cream, it will need to be kept chilled.
Also no need for it to steep for any length of time. Once the cream is added it’s ready for drinking.
Hope this helps clarify things.
Why does salt need to be used? Is it necessary?
Hi Karin. Great question. It’s there to draw out the best of flavour in the caramel and create a well-rounded drink. when all ingredients are combined. If used as specified it’s not a strong hit of salt that you taste, just a lovely caramel flavour. I’ve suggested those looking for a more pronounced salty flavour could double the quantity to create a salted caramel version. However, it’s personal preference how much, if any, salt to include at all. If 1/2 tsp sounds too much for your tastes and/ or lifestyle feel free to reduce it – perhaps add in 1/4 tsp and go from there.
Thank you for this recipe. I have a huge tub of ready made caramel I’d like to use. How much would you suggest I use, or rather a better question would be, how much does your caramel recipe make approximately?
Thank you in advance.
Hi Roxanne, I’d go with about 200g/ 7oz of caramel sauce in place of making your own, then just add in the condensed milk, bourbon and cream as instructed to make 750ml/ 3 cups of liqueur. You might like to add 1/2 -1 tsp vanilla extract too, depending on your caramel sauce.
Have you tried just adding your own caramel did you use seven ounces it seems like a lot and I’m hoping to try good store bought I made the recipe and it’s delicious
Hi Karen, so pleased you’ve enjoyed this recipe.
I haven’t noted down how much caramel the measures in the recipe makes, which is an oversight on my part. However, I’d guess, looking at the measures around 125ml-175ml of caramel. If you want to use storebought caramel, I’d suggest starting with around 125ml, have a taste and then add more as necessary until you get a flavour you are happy with.
Meanwhile, I’ll revisit this recipe shortly, take note of exactly how much homemade caramel is added and give some guidance on subbing in storebought (which could be more/less sweet). The beauty of homemade liqueur is always that you can add more or less caramel – regardless of whether it’s homemade or storebought – to suit your own tastes. Hope my starting point helps.
I’m going to make this liqueur for Christmas gifts. Where did you get that beautiful little bottle? Thanks!
Haha, you won’t believe it, but I found it in Poundland – of all the places! So pleased you like the recipe, I’m sure your friends will be delighted.
I made this, absolutely delicious, best ever! It went extremely thick in the fridge but I did use vegan cream, which is normally thinner than dairy cream. What can I thin it with, vegan milk, more cream or water? Thank you for sharing your wonderful recipes. I’ll definitely be back for others. Take care
Oh my gosh Jane, what a delicious homemade liqueur! I love creamy drinks like Baileys so pretty sure I’m going to love this! Perfect for an after dinner drink or to cosy up with on a fall evening. I’m sold!