I always associate sea salt caramels with this time of year, so I’m happy to announce a boozy caramel brulee latte for your drinking pleasure. The holidays are one time of year I rejoice at making exceptions to eating healthy. And home-made caramel is one of those guilty pleasures. Not that I make it, but that I am sometimes lucky enough to receive it.
I’ve teamed up with Ballotin Whiskey again for this boozy take on a popular seasonal latte, the caramel brulée latte. Like all lattes it’s got a great base of milk and espresso, but for this one, we’re upping the ante with some Ballotin Caramel Turtle Whiskey alongside salted caramel syrup. It’s a quick cocktail to make, and one that’s hard to sip slowly.
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What’s in a Caramel Brulée Latte?
A caramel brulée latte celebrates all things caramel. The toasted, deep flavors of brulée come from the nutty notes of the Ballotin Caramel Turtle Whiskey and a little from the sprinkles of crushed toffee you sprinkle on the whipped cream.
Because we’ve got caramel notes both in the salted caramel syrup and in the Caramel Turtle Whiskey, this is something of a one-note cocktail. But, if you love caramel and coffee, this will be the best drink you’ve made this month.
Plus, it’s got whiskey in it. All the more reason to move it up on your “to mix” list.
How to Make a Boozy Caramel Brulée Latte
While those with an espresso machine will want to take advantage of it, I settled with strong hot coffee to build this addictive latte. We don’t drink so much espresso that it would be worth the expense but brewing a strong cup of coffee (or heating up some espresso cold brew) works perfectly for this cocktail.
When I make a hot coffee drink, I like to combine the coffee, alcohol and syrup together in the mug and heat them in the microwave. This does two things: 1) it heats up the alcohol and the syrup just enough that they don’t cool down the drink too much, and 2) it heats up the mug so the cocktail stays warm while you sip it.
In this case, I put the hot coffee, Ballotin Caramel Turtle Whiskey, and the salted caramel syrup in the serving mug and heat them up for 15-20 seconds – just enough to get everything toasty. Then I add the steamed milk and top with the garnish.
If you’re frothing the milk before pouring it in, make sure you’ve left room in the cup for the cream. Hot coffee quickly melts whipped cream and you don’t want your drink escaping over the edges of the cup!
Garnishing the Boozy Caramel Brulée Latte
This is one coffee cocktail where bigger is better. This drink is so similar to dessert that I’m not going to pretend. I whipped up fresh whipping cream for this (if you like, put in ½ oz of bourbon to infuse it). I piped the cream on top, sprinkled some crushed toffee bits and added a swirl of salted caramel sauce.
About Ballotin Whiskey
Ballotin Whiskey got its start in Louisville working with the industry giant Flavorman to create a line of flavored whiskies. Of course, being from Louisville, there’s a plethora of Brown-Forman experience with co-owner Paul Tuell to create a flavored whiskey that’s approachable to whiskey newbies and interesting for bourbon enthusiasts alike. By carefully choosing the sourced whiskey at its base, the Ballotin line aims to keep a whiskey flavor while building on those flavors with additions like chocolate, bourbon ball and mint.
The flavored whiskies they produce work wonders in cocktails to add whiskey and sweet flavors together. In fact, they’re so good, you could just drink them over ice as a cocktail themselves. Ballotin makes a full line of flavors, including Caramel Turtle, Bourbon Ball, Chocolate Mint, Peanut Butter Chocolate, Chocolate Cherry Cream and Chocolate Mocha Cream.
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Boozy Caramel Brulée Latte
- 2 oz Ballotin Caramel Turtle Whiskey
- 4 oz strong coffee or espresso
- ¾ oz salted caramel syrup
- 4 oz steamed milk
- Topping: whipped cream toffee crumbles, salted caramel dessert topping
- In a heat-proof mug, combine Ballotin Caramel Turtle Whiskey, salted caramel syrup, and coffee or espresso. Add steamed milk and stir again. Top with whipped cream, toffee crumbles and a drizzle of caramel dessert topping.