October 29, 2021
Everybody loves a seasonal flavor. If you need proof of this phenomenon, look no further than humanity’s collective passion for pumpkin spice.
Around the holidays, food and beverage brands give us flavors that are comforting and worthy of celebration. This includes the famed pumpkin spice but also extends to flavors like peppermint, gingerbread, and caramel. If we like these essences in our coffee and our candles, imagine how much we’ll love them in our cocktails. Enter: caramel vodka.
Caramel may be a surprising flavor pairing for the spicy, grainy taste of vodka. But vodka is a reasonably neutral spirit, meaning that it’s easy to infuse it with other flavors. This liquor comes in almost every flavor under the sun, from orange to berry to — you guessed it — caramel.
If you’re having trouble imagining yourself slowly sipping on caramel vodka on the rocks or taking it back in a shot, you’re not alone. Flavors like this are best when combined with complementary ones, so read on to learn how to mix caramel vodka with six cocktail recipes. Your holiday season is about to get much sweeter.
1. Salted caramel martini
This two-ingredient drink is a people pleaser, so plan to shake up a batch at your next gathering. It’s the kind of sweet, creamy, decadent cocktail your guests will be sipping on for a while. To make, rim two glasses with caramel syrup and then dip in sea salt. Shake together 2 ounces of caramel vodka and 2 ounces of Rum Chata with plenty of ice. Strain into the prepared martini glasses and enjoy. If you truly want to impress your friends, swirl some caramel into the glasses before pouring in the liquid for visual effect and added sweetness. Everyone is sure to keep coming around for your salted caramel vodka drinks–and the company, of course.
2. Caramel apple martini
You could have some apple cider with that cinnamon sugar donut, but why not pair your snack with a boozy apple drink? It’s like a slice of apple pie in a highball glass. Shake together 6 ounces of apple cider and 4 ounces of caramel vodka with plenty of ice and strain into two martini glasses. If you want to make this treat even sweeter, coat the rims of the glasses with caramel syrup and dip them into a mix of cinnamon and sugar before pouring in the prepared drink. Garnish your creation with an apple slice or a cinnamon stick.
Forgot to buy dessert for your holiday gathering? Not a problem. Whip up a snickertini, and you’ll have a nightcap and a chocolatey palate cleanser rolled into one. This cocktail has a decent kick, not to mention caramel, chocolate sauce, and heavy cream, so just one drink will leave you feeling giddy. To make, start by splashing a bit of caramel sauce and chocolate syrup down the walls of a cocktail glass for a decorative effect. Then, shake up 1 ½ ounces of caramel vodka, one-half ounce of amaretto, one-half ounce of chocolate liqueur, one-half ounce of Irish cream liqueur (like Bailey’s), a dash of heavy cream, and lots of ice. Strain into the prepared glass.
4. Caramel mule
Time to winterize a summer favorite by giving this refreshing classic cocktail a decadent caramel twist. Caramel vodka and ginger ale complement each other’s flavors in this drink, usually made with regular vodka and ginger beer. Ginger beer has a stronger, spicier flavor than its ale counterpart. To prepare a caramel mule, simply combine 1 ½ ounces of caramel vodka, 1 ½ ounces of club soda, and 1 ½ ounces of ginger ale. Squeeze in a bit of fresh lime juice and add plenty of ice.
5. Caramel nog
If you’re looking to make a quick caramel-infused fall cocktail, simply mix 1 ½ ounces of caramelized vodka into a glass of premade eggnog. (You can make your own eggnog, too, or a variety of eggnog cocktails with different liquors.) Add a few ice cubes, top with a caramel drizzle, and enjoy. If you want to dress up this simple creation, garnish with a cinnamon stick or coat the rim of the glass in powdered cinnamon.
6. Caramel iced coffee
If you still have a few hours of partying ahead, enjoy a kick of caffeine in this next cocktail. Instead of an Irish or Kentucky coffee, try this sweet, warming mix. This drink consists of a one-to-one ratio of two ingredients: 2 ounces of caramel vodka and 2 ounces of cold-brewed coffee. The cocktail has only three flavors, but they come together as a holy trinity: nutty, bittersweet, and toasted. Serve cold, with plenty of ice. You may want to skip the straw so you can leisurely sip at this extra-strength drink.
DIY: how to make caramel vodka
While this flavored vodka is readily available in stores, you can also infuse your own at home by following a caramel vodka recipe. Infusing this drink is easier and more intuitive than you might think. Stuff a bottle of vodka full of chewy caramel candies and let these sugary treats sit for a few days in the alcohol. Shake the mixture several times per day. Once the caramels have fully broken down and the vodka has taken on a rich light brown color, it should have a strong caramel flavor. strain the vodka to remove any large pieces of candy and enjoy.
Have a hankering for caramel vodka? Order your favorite liquors from Gopuff, and while you’re at it, pick up some caramel sauce and chocolate syrup for your spirited creations. Break out the cocktail shaker because those bar items will be at your door in just a few minutes.