Chris is a whiskey drinker. For the longest time, it was the most disgusting smell and taste to me. But over the years, I’ve learned to appreciate the smokiness of whiskey and, on occasion, might even order a whiskey drink for myself. Pretty funny story, a few years ago I was in Cambridge, England for a work trip and wanted to get a nice bottle of spirits for Chris. There was a cute little wine/spirits shop on my way back to my hotel from dinner and I popped in for a look. The shop owner asked me if I was looking for anything in particular and I said I was looking for a nice bottle of bourbon or whiskey for my boyfriend. He froze and stared at me like I was joking and then said, “Well, the best whiskey or bourbon comes from Kentucky…. as in America.” I was so embarrassed; I felt my ears burning and fought the urge to run out of the shop. But I laughed and said, “Clearly I don’t know anything about brown liquids. What would you recommend instead?” I came home with a delicious bottle of award winning gin that’s only sold in England (and they didn’t lie about that, I cannot find it in the States. It’s the best gin I’ve ever had so I’m actually quite sad).
We like to collect and indulge in good quality spirits. We also love to support small businesses. Two months ago, our local neighborhood market, Canyon Market, celebrated women-owned businesses and showcased their products. That’s when we discovered Catoctin Creek Distillery Company – where a woman is owner and chief (not an assistant, she’s the brains behind it all) distiller, and they use source local and organic fruits and grains. Chris grabbed a bottle of rye whiskey and we bought it. We made a nice dinner and decided to have a drink with it. The whiskey was amazing. It had gorgeous hints of caramel and made me want to make actual caramel with it. This is the best whiskey to be used in caramel; not only does it enhance the taste of caramel, but it still retains the wood flavored whiskey in the sauce.
Salted Whiskey Caramel
- 2 sticks (1 cup) unsalted butter
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 2 cups dark brown sugar (packed down)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup whiskey
- Step 1 In a medium pan over medium heat, melt butter and add heavy cream.
- Step 2 Add the sugar and salt and stir until well incorporated.
- Step 3 Turn heat to high and allow mixture to come to a boil. Once boiled, lower the heat to medium high and allow to boil for an additional 5 minutes. (NOTE: use a slightly larger pan as when the mixture boils, the sugar mixture will bubble up!)
- Step 4 Turn off heat and while whisking, add the whiskey.
- Step 5 As the caramel cools, it will begin to thicken.