To make the salted bourbon caramel:
2 cups white sugar
1/2 cup water
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
1 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup good quality bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
1 teaspoon flaky sea salt (or kosher salt)
To make the milkshake:
3 scoops good quality vanilla ice cream
1/4 cup brewed espresso, chilled (or strongly brewed coffee)
2 tablespoons good quality bourbon (I used Woodford Reserve)
1 tablespoon salted bourbon caramel (recipe below)
2 small candy bars, chopped (I used Twix Fun Size, but many others would work well here)
Whipped cream, for topping
Flaky sea salt, for topping
1. Add sugar, water, and corn syrup to a medium saucepan, and bring to a boil over high heat, stirring until the sugar is dissolved. As soon as the mixture comes to a boil, clamp on a lid, and cook for 6 minutes. Remove the lid and check the color and texture of your caramel. It should still be clear, and the bubbles should be large. Continue to cook with the lid off. As the mixture starts to brown and darken in color, gently swirl the pan to mix. Do not stir here. Once the mixture is a dark amber color (not black), take the saucepan off the heat, and carefully add the heavy cream. The mixture will violently bubble up. Let the caramel settle for 1 minute, then stir in the bourbon and flaky sea salt. If the caramel has seized up a bit (hardened), simply return the saucepan to a low flame, and stir just until the mixture smooths out. Let mixture cool completely before adding to the milkshake. Store in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
2. Add ice cream, chilled espresso, bourbon, 1 tablespoon salted bourbon caramel, and chopped candy bars to a blender, and blend until smooth and well combined. The texture should be thick, but still very drinkable.
3.Pour milkshake into a chilled glass, then top with a dollop of whipped cream, and a sprinkle of flaky sea salt.