Love and Olive Oil

Bourbon Salted Caramel Milkshakes

Bourbon Salted Caramel Milkshakes for #MilkshakeWeek from @loveandoliveoil

Kicking off Milkshake Week with a bang, spiked and salted and deliciously drizzled with a boozy caramel sauce that’s utterly divine. Are you surprised that my first milkshake, on Monday morning no less, is wonderfully boozy? You shouldn’t be. With my penchant for boozy baking it was only a matter of time. (I’ll have you know that Friday’s milkshake is equally boozy, and Wednesday’s could certainly be adapted as such). Truly, boozy milkshakes are seriously under utilized.

And before I get bombarded with questions, yes, you can leave out the bourbon in the caramel and in the milkshake and the recipe will work just fine. You’ll end up with a perfectly delicious salted caramel milkshake, but really, where’s the fun in that?

Bourbon Salted Caramel Milkshakes for #MilkshakeWeek from @loveandoliveoil

The caramel sauce is similar to the one that graced the top of Taylor’s boozy birthday cake this past winter (although I used some regular, good quality bourbon here, I was fresh out of wedding-day whiskey). It’s quite possibly the world’s greatest caramel sauce, and I could seriously put it on everything.

My favorite part of this milkshake, second only to the booze, are the abstract caramel swirls that hug the sides of the glass like leading in a stained glass window. It took me a few tries to get the technique just right, and you may want to do a few practice glasses yourself. It’s all in the wrist, they say. I first tried a more disciplined spiral, holding the caramel squeeze bottle inside the glass and then rotating it as evenly as I could with one hand. But it turns out speed is the key to getting smooth, not wobbly, strokes of caramel, and that the more free-form method turned out to be the winner. I’d suggest chilling your glasses and slightly warming your caramel (not hot, but you want it to flow freely). Use a plastic squeeze bottle (which, incidentally, also makes drizzling the leftover caramel over ice cream a breeze). And also? Don’t overthink it. The more I tried to intentionally distribute the caramel, the slower I moved and the uglier my swirls looked. Pretend you’re the Jackson Pollock of caramel and just go for it.

Bourbon Salted Caramel Milkshakes

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For Caramel:

  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • pinch cream of tartar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 1/4 teaspoon vanilla bean paste or 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt

For Milkshakes:

  • 16 ounces vanilla ice cream
  • 1/3 cup bourbon caramel sauce, plus more for garnish
  • 1/3 cup milk, more or less as needed
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • Whipped cream, for serving (optional)


  1. To prepare caramel sauce, combine sugar, corn syrup, cream of tartar, and water in a medium saucepan. Gently stir over medium-high heat until sugar is dissolved, brushing down any stray sugar crystals on the sides of the pan with a wet pastry brush. Bring to a boil and cook, without stirring, until sugar turns a light amber brown, swirling the pan as needed to ensure even coloring. This should take about 10 minutes. Watch it carefully, as the caramel can go from perfectly brown to burnt in a matter of seconds. Remove from heat and add cream and butter, whisking vigorously until smooth. Whisk in bourbon, vanilla, and sea salt. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to a jar or storage container and refrigerate until ready to use. Caramel will keep in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  2. To prepare milkshakes, scoop ice cream into the canister of a blender (I find it easiest to put the canister right on the scale, zero it out, and then I can measure the precise amount of ice cream). Add caramel sauce, milk, and bourbon. Blend on medium-low speed until smooth. Add more milk as needed to acheive desired consistency.
  3. To serve, gently warm some of the remaining caramel sauce. If you have a plastic squeeze bottle that will work best. Using a quick wrist-flicking motion, drizzle the caramel in an abstract pattern on the inside of chilled glasses. Divide milkshake among glasses. Top with a dollop of whipped cream and more caramel, as desired.
All images and text © / Love & Olive Oil

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  1. No need for a scale. Ice cream is sold by volume (“fluid ounces”) not actual weight., so 16 oz of ice cream= 1 pint. just use a pint (2 cups) of ice cream.

  2. I’m loving Milkshake Week! So many fantastic, cooling drinks floating around the internet right now! This one looks particularly delightful!

  3. totally craving one of these right now! yum! takes me back to my childhood… thanks for the awesome recipe and ideas.

  4. I can use a glass of this right now! 

  5. Oh, these are a must!!!  

  6. Your photos slay me and I want to make everything you make. Just saying.

  7. I disagree. You can’t leave out the bourbon because…. well, you just can’t! I can see myself keeping a pitcher of this all to myself! Pinned

  8. I would love to have like 4 glasses of this right now.

  9. I was juuuuust in Kentucky this weekend and happened to pick up some amazing bourbon, I’m definitely going to need to use some to make these beauties!

  10. Love this combo, Lindsay! I love #milkshake week! Thanks for including all of us!

  11. The caramel swirls in the cup looks great! And I best it tastes even better ;-) I’m all for some boozy milkshakes.

  12. This is the most beautiful milkshake ever! And with a combo like salted caramel and bourbon, it must be amazingly delicious. :)

  13. This is the best week ever! This milkshake looks glorious!

  14. I’d surely get a brain freeze, wanting to suck this down fast. Yum. And gorgeous, too!

  15. Oh how I love thee salted caramel… and boozy?!?! Even better!

  16. you had me at salted caramel! 

  17. Mm mm mmmm!! Lilly xx

  18. I’m not a bourbon fan (don’t hate me!), but my hubby is going to love this milkshake! And, I’m curious, how much bourbon caramel did you have to “sacrifice” to perfect the swirls inside the glass? They look amazing!

  19. This sounds amazing!!  Can’t wait to try. 

  20. Oh gosh, these milkshakes look and sound incredible! I think I would like Mondays better if they always included boozy milkshakes. ;) Looking forward to the rest of milkshake week!

  21. I cannot find the words to describe how badly I need this in my mouth. Right now.

  22. Bourbon and salted caramel?! You’re speaking my language! Boozy milkshakes are THE BEST milkshakes. There really shouldn’t be any other way! Love these!

  23. Art in a glass and booze too. Just don’t drink and THEN try to make the caramel swirls. ;) Love this one!

  24. I wish this was acceptable to drink for breakfast because this is what I really want. Looks delicious!! 

  25. Looks fantastic. Just FYI — it is a “penchant” for boozy baking, not a pension. :-)

  26. Totally making these this summer!

  27. Wow, I want all of this!

  28. I love the salty sweet combination! Yum!

  29. I think Mondays are meant for booze, especially in a milkshake. I’m so excited for this week! Pinned!

  30. This is spectacular!! (and the photos are making me want it even more!)

  31. Those caramel swirls STOLE my heart! <3 So So prettttty and boozy caramel sauce infused milkshake on a Monday morning? PLEASEEEEEE SIGN ME UP! <3

  32. This sounds amazing!!!

  33. You girls are killing me with all these amazing milkshakes. Beautiful shake :)

  34. This is pure boozy perfection! Love the swirls, and *really* love the idea of throwing caramel inside the glass Jackson Pollock style. :)

  35. Ice cream & booze? Yes, please! I love that these are scaled for two. It’s just me and my SP so I’m on the lookout for anything that’s small batch.

  36. Oh, I’m all about the boozy milkshakes these days. Can’t wait to see what you have in store on Wed and Friday!

  37. Holy moly Lindsay these are ‘to die for’!  Nothing better than an adult milkshake and the bourbon-caramel combo are perfection.  Thanks for hosting Milkshake Week!

  38. so gorgeous!!!

  39. Oh, this sounds yummy. A grown up milkshake perfect for the summer heat.

  40. This is perfect, especially for Monday!

  41. Milkshakes at 5 pm, please ;)

  42. This is such and awesome combo! Bourbon and caramel are the best!

  43. I adore these, Lindsay, more than even words can express! 

  44. Even though it’s early in the morning one of these sounds perfect!

  45. Leave out the booze? NONSENSE!
    These are as pretty as they are delicious, I bet!

  46. Leave out the bourbon? No way jose!
    These milkshakes are looking like the perfect way to justify my gym session that I am about to go on. No point working out if there’s nothing delish to work off ;)

  47. WHOA!! This flavour is flipping perfect!! Loooove!

  48. Bourbon and salted caramel together….soooo good! I made ice cream last summer using the two and I still dream about that stuff. And remember the cardio I had to do after that tub of ice cream was gone but so worth it :) Your milkshakes look awesome and I’d guzzle a couple! pinned

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