I wanted to jazz up my usual salted caramel recipe for pancake day and thought there’s no better way than to add some whisky from my favourite Japanese whisky distillery.

My brother bought me a new bottle of Nikka from the barrel so I decided to use up what was left in my other bottle, along with some added tonka beans I had lying around in the cupboard.

Nikka Whisky and Tonka Bean Smoked Salted Caramel Ingredients

  • 50ml Nikka From the Barrel Whisky
  • 100ml tonka bean infused double cream
  • 200g granulated sugar
  • 100ml of water
  • 100g unsalted butter (I used salted as that’s all I had in the fridge but I’d use unsalted and add the amount of smoked salt you need to taste)
  • Pinch of smoked salt. I used Maldron or you could use Halen Mon.


Nikka Whisky and tonka bean smoked salted caramel recipe



  1. To make the tonka bean infused cream, take two tonka beans, snap them and drop into the cream.
  2. Cover the cream and let to infuse overnight. I found snapping them rather than grating the tonka bean, made it easier to remove the tonka bean after infusion.
  3. Add the sugar to a saucepan with a splash of water.
  4. Warm the cream up gently so that it doesn’t fizz violently when added to the caramelised sugar.
  5. Heat the sugar up until it starts to smell like caramel and starts to turn golden in colour.
  6. Take the sugar off the heat when it gets to the desired caramelisation but don’t let it go too dark as it will burn and taste bitter. It will carry on cooking after you take it off too so act quickly.
  7. Add the warmed cream to the sugar and the butter then whisk to combine. Be careful as it does splutter when you add the liquids to the sugar.
  8. When the butter and cream are added, pour the whisky in. If you put the whisky in too early it will just burn off.
  9. Add as much smoked salt to the caramel as you prefer and mix to combine.
  10. Pour the caramel into a container that allows you to spoon out easily.
  11. Use straight away once it’s cooled a little or put in the fridge.

You can add the caramel to pancakes like it did, drizzle over ice cream, add to your breakfast oats, top with toasted crumpets with nutella, use for millionaire bars, pour over waffles or just take a spoon and enjoy.