Salted Caramel Martini

Two salted caramel martinis garnished with caramel candies

The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Freezing:: 25 mins
Total: 30 mins
Serving: 1 serving
Yield: 1 cocktail
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
409 Calories
1g Fat
48g Carbs
1g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 1
Amount per serving
Calories 409
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 1g 1%
Saturated Fat 0g 2%
Cholesterol 1mg 0%
Sodium 1385mg 60%
Total Carbohydrate 48g 18%
Dietary Fiber 0g 0%
Total Sugars 47g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 0mg 1%
Calcium 29mg 2%
Iron 0mg 0%
Potassium 62mg 1%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

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.

“An absolutely delicious and satisfying dessert martini. The name says it all, a salted caramel celebration in a glass. My partner commented ‘oh wow’ when taking his first sip. You will too. Freeze the martini glass and refrigerate the caramel syrup for best results with decorating the glass.” —Mary Jo Romano

Salted Caramel Martini/Tester Image
A Note From Our Recipe Tester

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce caramel syrup, more for rim

  • Kosher or sea salt, for rimming

  • 1 1/2 ounces vanilla vodka

  • 2 ounces Irish cream liqueur

  • Soft caramel candy, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for a salted caramel martini gathered

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  2. Freeze the glasses for 10 minutes before rimming with the caramel syrup. This will help prevent the syrup from running down the glass too quickly.

    To rim the cocktail glass, begin by rolling the rim in a shallow dish of caramel syrup.

    Cocktail glass rimmed 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 salt rim to a martini glass that's already rimmed with caramel sauce

    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 vanilla vodka, Irish cream, and 1 ounce of caramel syrup.

    Ingredients for a salted caramel martini poured into a glass

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  6. Shake well.

    Salted caramel martini ingredients poured into a glass with ice next to a cocktail shaker

    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 into the prepared frozen glass

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

  8. Garnish with caramel candy. Serve and enjoy.

    Salted caramel martinis in two glasses garnished with caramel candies

    The Spruce Eats / S&C Design Studios

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 (but not sauce; it's too thick). 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 for a less sweet drink.
  • 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.