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Boozy Bourbon Milkshake with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

WARNING: This milkshake is not for kids!! This Boozy Bourbon Milkshake is drizzled with Bourbon Caramel Sauce for the ultimate grownup treat. Incredibly easy to make and arguably better than any summer dessert or cocktail. Give it a try!

Oh, and if you don't have bourbon on hand, you can use any kind of whiskey, scotch, or even spiced rum.

Bourbon milkshake with bourbon caramel drizzle
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Bourbon milkshake

As a last hurrah before summer is over, I am so excited to share this bourbon milkshake recipe!

It's a classic vanilla milkshake spruced up with a shot (or two) of bourbon, a drizzle of homemade bourbon caramel sauce, and a topping of whipped cream (which is a MUST-HAVE for milkshakes, don't you think??).

And it's so so good.

Bourbon milkshake with bourbon caramel sauce drizzled on top

Our 5 year old son walked in on us drinking these milkshakes after I took these pictures and asked if he could have some... we both immediately answered: NOPE!! 

Love cooking with bourbon? Try this Blackberry Vanilla Bourbon Jam!

Spoon drizzling bourbon caramel sauce into a jar

Bourbon caramel sauce

The boozy caramel sauce is really the only semi-complicated part of this recipe, so if you really want to make this a quick milkshake, just get regular caramel sauce and us that. Otherwise, here are the ingredients to make your own buttery bourbon caramel sauce:

  • 1 cup sugar (granulated cane sugar)
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 pinch salt (or use more for a salted caramel sauce!)
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, sliced into ½ - ¾ inch pieces
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ shot bourbon (1.5 tablespoons), or use whiskey or even spiced rum

You'll also need a silicone spatula, a whisk, and a medium-sized saucepan (about 3-4 quarts) to make caramel sauce. Even though the recipe only makes about 1.5 cups caramel sauce, it does rise a lot in the pot as it cooks, so you need a bigger pot than you think.

Want to use up that bottle of bourbon? Make this Food Court Bourbon Chicken!

How to make bourbon caramel sauce

Step 1: In a medium saucepan (about 3 quarts), combine the sugar, water, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar melts and stops clumping together. Lower the heat to low and continue to heat without stirring much for 7-10 minutes, or until the mixture turns a caramel-honey color. Use a spatula if needed to brush any caramelized sugar from the sides of the pan into the melted mixture, but don't worry too much about the caramelized crystals. Keep an eye out on the mixture because it can burn quickly right around when it turns from clear to a caramel color. Remove from heat as soon as it's a caramel color.

Caramelized sugar in a pot

Step 2: CAREFULLY add the sliced butter and whisk together immediately to prevent the caramel sauce from rising up too much. Continue stirring until all the butter is incorporated.

Adding butter to caramel sauce

Step 3: Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and bourbon. Whisk continuously until all the heavy cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth mixture. 

Pot of homemade caramel sauce

Step 4: Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then pour into a jar to store. The sauce will thicken as it cools.

Related recipe: Mulberry Ice Cream

How to store caramel sauce

This caramel sauce needs to be stored in the fridge because it is made with heavy cream. It will keep well in the fridge for weeks. The sauce will thicken a lot in the fridge. You can take it out of the fridge 15-20 minutes before serving to let it warm up, or you can microwave for just a few seconds to warm it up and make it perfectly drizzle-able.

Related recipe: Apricot Ice Cream

Boozy milkshake ingredients

The general ratio of ice cream to milk I like to use for milkshakes is 3 parts ice cream to 1 part milk, but of course you can adjust to your liking, depending on whether you like a super thick milkshake or one that you can easily drink with a straw. The recipe below makes 2 milkshakes, and you can scale up or down, as needed.

  • 1.5 cups vanilla bean ice cream
  • ½ cup milk (whole milk or 2% is best for the richest milkshake, but any kind of milk will do if you don't have those)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract (or try using vanilla bean powder for extra vanilla flavor and specks)
  • 1 shot bourbon (or use more for a more boozy milkshake!)
  • 1 tablespoon bourbon caramel sauce for drizzle
  • whipped cream for serving

Grab your blender and 2 glasses!!

Ingredients to make bourbon milkshake

Related recipe: Vanilla Bourbon Peach Spritz

Instructions

Step 1: Use a spoon to drizzle the caramel sauce on the inside of your glasses or cups, making sure to get the walls of the glass so it's not all on the bottom. Place the glasses in the fridge while you prepare the milkshake to keep them cold.

Step 2: Combine the ice cream, milk, vanilla extract, and bourbon in a blender and process until completely smooth.

Step 3: Divide the milkshake between the caramel-drizzled glasses. Add some whipped cream and drizzle with more caramel sauce on top. Use a straw to stir the caramel into the milkshake and enjoy immediately!

Related recipe: Blueberry Cheesecake Ice Cream

What to do with leftover bourbon caramel sauce

This recipe makes a LOT of caramel sauce, and you only need a tablespoon or two for the milkshakes, so here are some ideas for how to use up the rest of the caramel sauce:

Bake with it and use it anywhere you can use a drizzle of sweet caramel sauce.

If you enjoyed this recipe, let me know with a comment and a star rating below. And don't forget to share it on Facebook and save it on Pinterest for later!

Close up of boozy bourbon milkshake with bourbon caramel sauce
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5 from 2 votes

Boozy Bourbon Milkshake with Bourbon Caramel Sauce

This bourbon milkshake is definitely NOT for kids! Thick, delicious vanilla milkshake with bourbon, drizzled with a homemade bourbon caramel sauce. The caramel sauce takes about 15 minutes to make, and you can make it ahead of time!
Prep Time5 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time15 mins
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Diet: Gluten Free, Vegetarian
Servings: 2
Author: Kate

Ingredients

For the milkshake:
  • 1.5 cups vanilla bean ice cream or try it with salted caramel ice cream!
  • ½ cup milk whole milk or 2% is best, but you can use any kind
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract or use ½ teaspoon vanilla bean powder
  • 1 shot bourbon (3 tablespoons) or whiskey or scotch, or even spiced rum. Use 2 shots for a boozier milkshake
  • 1-2 tablespoons caramel sauce for drizzling (see recipe below)
  • whipped cream for topping
For the bourbon caramel sauce:
  • 1 cup sugar granulated cane sugae
  • ¼ cups water
  • 1 pinch salt or use more for a salted caramel sauce
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ shot bourbon (1.5 tablespoons) or whiskey, scotch, or spiced rum

Special equipment

Instructions

Make the caramel sauce:
  • In a medium saucepan, combine the sugar, water, and salt. Heat over medium-low heat, stirring until the sugar melts and stops clumping together.
  • Lower the heat to low and continue to heat without stirring often for 7-10 minutes, or until the mixture turns a caramel-honey color. Use a spatula if needed to brush any caramelized sugar from the sides of the pan down into the melted mixture, but don't worry too much about the caramelized crystals. Keep an eye out on the mixture because it can burn quickly right around when it turns from clear to a caramel color. Remove from heat as soon as it's a caramel color.
  • CAREFULLY add the sliced butter and whisk together immediately to prevent the caramel sauce from rising up too much. Continue stirring until all the butter is incorporated.
  • Stir in the heavy cream, vanilla extract, and bourbon. Whisk continuously until all the heavy cream has been incorporated and you have a smooth mixture.
  • Allow to cool for 10-15 minutes, then pour into a jar to store. The sauce will thicken as it cools. Keep the sauce refrigerated after using, it will last for weeks. See notes for ideas for how to use up the caramel sauce!)
Make the milkshake:
  • Use a spoon to drizzle the caramel sauce on the inside of your glasses or cups, making sure to get the walls of the glass so it's not all on the bottom. Place the glasses in the fridge while you prepare the milkshake to keep them cold.
  • Combine the ice cream, milk, vanilla extract, and bourbon in a blender and process until completely smooth.
  • Divide the milkshake between the caramel-drizzled glasses. Add some whipped cream and drizzle with more caramel sauce on top. Use a straw to stir the caramel into the milkshake and enjoy immediately!

Notes

Use leftover bourbon caramel sauce:
  • Drizzle it on ice cream
  • Use it as pancake syrup for brunch (try it with churro pancakes!!)
  • Drizzle it on top of mini apple pie cups
  • Spoon some over Greek yogurt for a late night snack
  • Drizzle it on top of brownies
  • Add it to your hot cocoa
  • Bake with it and use it anywhere you can use a drizzle of sweet caramel sauce.
Do not overdo the bourbon at first! You can always add in a little more after blending the milkshake and giving it a taste. 1 shot gives these milkshakes a nice hint of bourbon flavor. 2 shots for 2 drinks makes it a lot stronger!
The nutrition facts for this recipe are estimated assuming 1 tablespoon of caramel sauce per serving and do not include whipped cream. Actual nutrition will vary on actual ingredients used.

Nutrition

Calories: 354kcal (18%) | Carbohydrates: 41g (14%) | Protein: 6g (12%) | Fat: 13g (20%) | Saturated Fat: 8g (40%) | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 51mg (17%) | Sodium: 173mg (7%) | Potassium: 337mg (10%) | Fiber: 1g (4%) | Sugar: 38g (42%) | Vitamin A: 534IU (11%) | Vitamin C: 1mg (1%) | Calcium: 214mg (21%) | Iron: 0.1mg (1%)

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