Salted Caramel Martini

Salted Caramel Martini

The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  • Total: 15 mins
  • Prep: 15 mins
  • Cook: 0 mins
  • Serving: 1 serving
  • Yield: 1 cocktail

Sweet and delicious, it's hard to resist a salted caramel martini. This simple cocktail recipe offers the same salty-sweet taste of the candy, which is a brilliant contrast from the average dessert drink.

With most cocktails, the garnish is optional, but here it completes the experience. The rim is adorned with caramel syrup and just enough salt to make each sip interesting. Avoid salting the rim as heavily as you would a margarita—just a touch will do. You can also drizzle caramel into the glass and add a soft caramel candy to the rim for an even more indulgent experience.

When that foundation is nice and frozen, you'll add the drink. It's an easy mix of vanilla vodka, caramel syrup, and Irish cream. While it may seem like a lot of syrup, some of that will be lost while measuring it out, so the drink ends up perfectly balanced.

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 ounces vodka (vanilla)
  • 1 ounce caramel syrup (plus more for rim)
  • 2 ounces Irish cream
  • Garnish: salt (kosher or sea, for rim)
  • Garnish: soft caramel candy

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a Salted Caramel Martini
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  2. To rim the cocktail glass, begin by rolling the rim in a shallow dish of caramel syrup.

    Rimming a Cocktail Glass With Caramel Syrup
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  3. Roll the glass in a dish of salt, coating it lightly all the way around.

    Adding a Caramel Salt Rim to a Martini Glass
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  4. If you want to drizzle caramel inside the glass, hold it upright over the sink to catch any caramel drips. Lightly drizzle caramel webbing inside the glass. Immediately place the glass in the freezer so the caramel sets up while you mix the drink.

    Caramel Drizzled in a Martini Glass
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  5. In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, pour the vodka, caramel syrup, and Irish cream.

    Pouring the ingredients for a Salted Caramel Martini
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  6. Shake well.

    Shaking a Salted Caramel Martini
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  7. Remove the glass from the freezer and strain the drink into it.

    Straining a Salted Caramel Martini
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  8. Garnish with a caramel candy.

    Salted Caramel Martini
    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios
  9. Serve and enjoy!

Tips

  • Work quickly while decorating the glass. Have a spot ready in the freezer so you can place the glass in it before the caramel runs too much.
  • The rim and caramel drizzle can be done in advance; a minimum of 10 to 20 minutes is perfect. The colder the caramel is, the longer it will stay frozen while you're drinking the martini.
  • You can use any caramel syrup. Salted caramel syrup is a good choice if you want to skip the salt rim. The variety intended as an ice cream topping will be less runny than syrups used for flavoring coffee and a better choice for the garnish. A homemade caramel sauce gives you a little more control of the consistency.
  • Pouring caramel—whether from a bottle or spoon—can be inconsistent. To make thin strings in the glass, hold the caramel about arm's length above the glass and let the caramel begin to drip. Once the stream is steady, move your glass under the stream to create a web design. It can be messy, so do it over the sink.
  • To clean caramel out of the glass when the drink is gone, run it under hot water while spinning the glass by the stem. It will dissolve and you can then clean the glass as usual.

Recipe Variations

  • Unflavored vodka works just as well as vanilla vodka.
  • Ramp up the caramel by pouring a caramel vodka instead of vanilla. Give it even more flavor with salted caramel moonshine. For either substitution, cut the caramel syrup in half to maintain balance.
  • Butterscotch schnapps is a good substitute for caramel syrup.
  • RumChata and other cream liqueurs can be used instead of Irish cream. You can also replace it with milk, half and half, or a dairy alternative—almond milk is a perfect fit for this drink.

How Strong Is a Salted Caramel Martini?

As far as martinis go, this one is a lightweight. When made with 70-proof vanilla vodka (the standard for flavored vodkas), the salted caramel martini shakes up to about 16 percent ABV (32 proof). That's just slightly stronger than a glass of wine.