Spike It: Apple Cider-Bourbon Caramel Sauce
While the rest of the world is losing their mind over pumpkin-flavored everything (um, ChapStick?! No, thanks), I can’t stop freaking out over my love for apple cider. And allllll the apple cider things.
Apple season is where it’s at, and it’s right now! We have months left to celebrate pumpkin, but we need to get our hands on the best apples right this minute and do a little more with them than slather them in peanut butter. You know?
Here’s the thing: I will apple cider anything I can get my hands on. I’ve even turned it into a verb. You can find me apple cidering all fall. Whatever you want to pumpkin, I want to cider.
Now, while this most often pertains to breakfasts and desserts and even savory dishes that I can grill, there is nothing like making a cocktail with apple cider. Or even a mocktail! When I was pregnant, we created a delicious cranberry juice cider punch that rivals some sangrias I have today. All thanks to the fresh cider. It tastes super nostalgic to me but also like quintessential fall. It’s the pumpkin spice latte to my Ugg boots.
So, naturally, I had to combine it with bourbon and make a caramel sauce for ice cream while it’s still pretty hot outside. Even though the mornings have a chill and the evenings call for a sweater or wrap, the days are humid and hot with the September sun. Ice cream cones are still totally a thing. Plus, you can add warm, melty caramel on top and make it a caramel sundae. Who needs hot fudge? Not I. It’s almost like a hot toddy caramel sauce.
This is the easiest caramel sauce ever: Just throw everything in the pot and stir. Bourbon, apple cider and cream might be the trifecta of delicious ingredients to make one heck of a dessert condiment. Incredibly fabulous on their own, and then when they’re together?! I can hardly stand it.
Apple Cider-Bourbon Caramel Sauce
Makes about 8 servings
1 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup bourbon
1/4 cup apple cider
1/4 cup unsalted butter
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
Pinch of salt
Combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium to low heat. Cook, stirring often, until the mixture bubbles and thickens, about 6 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat and let the caramel come to room temperature. Pour over ice cream!
Caramel adapted from Ree Drummond.