Whiskey Caramel Sauce with Bitters

Whiskey caramel sauce with bitters being poured over vanilla ice cream
Photo by Meg Baggott / Styling by Katherine Rosen

Many types of whiskey can be used in a caramel sauce, though rye is a good choice because of its inherent spice. In addition to caramel and vanilla flavors common to all barrel-aged spirits, rye grain offers a deeper flavor with a distinctive note of allspice. A few dashes of bitters rounds out the whiskey’s spice with additional notes of clove.

Bananas are great foils to the spicy-sweet flavor of this caramel sauce, though it’s also hard to beat atop classic vanilla ice cream.

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar, packed
  • 1 tablespoon light corn syrup
  • â…“ cup heavy cream
  • â…“ cup rye whiskey, plus 1 tablespoon
  • â…› teaspoon salt
  • 4–5 dashes aromatic bitters, like Angostura

In saucepot, melt butter over low heat. Add sugar, heavy cream and corn syrup. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Remove pot from heat, and add ⅓ cup rye whiskey. Return to medium-high heat, and whisk vigorously to combine. Cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.

Remove from heat. Add salt, bitters and remaining whiskey.

Let cool for at least 10 minutes to let sauce thicken. Leftover caramel will keep refrigerated for 2 weeks. Makes about 1 cup.

Published on June 7, 2018