Honey Whiskey Caramelized Onions

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Honey whiskey caramelized onions meld the natural sweetness of onions with the rich, smoky undertones of honey whiskey, creating a sumptuous topping that adds a gourmet touch to any dish. Their slow-cooked, tender texture and complex flavor profile make them an irresistible addition to burgers, steaks, and artisanal pizzas.

These caramelized onions are so delicious - and so easy! You will LOVE them!
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Honey Whiskey Caramelized Onions

Honey whiskey caramelized onions offer a unique twist on a classic culinary technique, combining the natural sweetness of onions with the rich, warm undertones of honey whiskey. As the onions slowly caramelize, they develop a deep golden color and a complex flavor profile, enhanced by the subtle sweetness and slight oakiness of the whiskey. The addition of honey amplifies the caramelization process, adding a velvety texture and a hint of sweetness that balances the onions’ natural sharpness.

These onions can elevate a variety of dishes, from gourmet burgers and grilled steaks to artisanal pizzas and sophisticated canapés, adding a luxurious depth of flavor that’s both nuanced and memorable.

These honey whiskey caramelized onions are so delicious - perfect for burgers and sandwiches!

How to Make Spiked Caramelized Onion Spread

First assemble the following ingredients:

  • Butter or Ghee (2 tbsp) – Butter provides a creamy, rich base that enhances the natural sweetness of the onions as they caramelize, adding a smooth and velvety texture to the dish.
  • Onion (1) – Onions develop a deep, sweet flavor when caramelized, transforming their initial sharpness into a mellow, complex taste with hints of natural sugar coming to the forefront.
  • Honey (1 tbsp) – Honey introduces a subtle, floral sweetness to the caramelized onions, amplifying their inherent sugary notes and adding a smooth, sticky consistency.
  • Whiskey or Bourbon (4 tbsp) – Whiskey adds a smoky, oaky depth to the caramelized onions, contributing a warm, slightly spicy undertone that complements their sweetness. Bourbon caramelized onions are equivalent to those made with whiskey.
  • Celtic sea salt (1 tsp) – Celtic sea salt enhances the overall flavor profile with its briny, mineral-rich taste, balancing the sweetness of the onions and honey while highlighting the whiskey’s complexity.

Use this Method:

Cook onions. In a large pan, melt butter or ghee. Add onions and salt, stir and let caramelize until medium to caramel brown.

Add-ins. Drizzle honey over caramelized onions, stir. Add whiskey, stir, and light with a long handled lighter to burn off. When whiskey is burned off and most of the liquid has cooked off, remove from heat and serve immediately.

These are THE BEST caramelized onions ever - smoky, sweet and so addictive!

Tips and Tricks for Making Caramelized Onions

Choose the Right Onions: Yellow or sweet onions are ideal for caramelizing due to their natural sugar content, which enhances the caramelization process.

Thin, Even Slices: Slice your onions uniformly to ensure they cook evenly. Thinner slices will caramelize faster but require more attention to prevent burning.

Non-Alcoholic Version. For a nonalcoholic version you can use balsamic vinegar in place of the tbsp whiskey.

Low and Slow: Caramelizing onions is a slow process that can’t be rushed. Cook them over low to medium-low heat to allow the sugars to break down gradually without burning.

Stir Occasionally: While patience is key, stirring the onions occasionally ensures they cook evenly and don’t stick to the bottom of the pan.

Deglaze with Honey Whiskey: Once the onions have developed a golden-brown color, add a splash of honey whiskey to deglaze the pan. This releases all the flavorful bits stuck to the bottom and infuses the onions with a rich, complex flavor.

Add Honey at the Right Time: Incorporate honey towards the end of the cooking process to avoid it becoming too caramelized or burning, which could impart a bitter taste.

Adjust the Heat: If the onions are cooking too quickly or starting to burn, lower the heat. If they seem to be cooking too slowly, you can increase the heat slightly but watch them closely.

Use Quality Ingredients: The quality of your honey whiskey will significantly impact the flavor of your caramelized onions. Choose a brand that you enjoy on its own for the best result.

Be Patient: Good caramelized onions can take anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. They’re done when they’re a deep golden brown and have a jam-like consistency.

Season to Taste: After deglazing with honey whiskey, taste your onions and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as needed.

Storage: If you make a large batch, honey whiskey caramelized onions can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week, or frozen for longer storage.

Ventilation: Caramelizing onions can produce strong aromas, especially with the addition of whiskey. Ensure your kitchen is well-ventilated to keep the environment comfortable.

Whiskey honey onio


What’s the best way to use leftover honey whiskey caramelized onions?

Leftover onions can be used in sandwiches, salads, on top of grilled meats, or even as a pizza topping. They’re incredibly versatile and add a burst of flavor to a variety of dishes

Can I speed up the caramelization process by increasing the heat?

Increasing the heat might cause the onions to burn rather than caramelize, resulting in a bitter taste. Low and slow is the best approach for achieving perfect caramelization.

Are honey whiskey caramelized onions suitable for vegetarians or vegans?

Yes, as long as you use vegan-friendly butter or oil for the cooking process, this dish can be suitable for vegetarians and vegans. However, check the honey whiskey brand for any non-vegan processing methods if strict adherence is required.

Can honey whiskey caramelized onions be made in advance?

Yes, they can be made in advance and stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for up to three months. Reheat gently before serving.

How do I prevent the onions from burning?

Cook the onions over low to medium-low heat, and stir them occasionally to ensure they cook evenly. If they start to catch, you can add a small splash of water to the pan to help deglaze and prevent burning.

Can I make these onions without adding honey?

Yes, you can omit the honey, but it adds extra sweetness and helps in the caramelization process. If you prefer not to use honey, the onions will still caramelize from their natural sugars, especially if you’re using a sweet variety of onions.

Can I use a different type of alcohol if I don’t have honey whiskey?

Yes, you can use regular whiskey, bourbon, or even brandy as alternatives. Each will impart a different flavor profile, but they all add a rich depth to the caramelized onions.

What type of onions are best for making honey whiskey caramelized onions?

Yellow and sweet onions are ideal due to their natural sugar content, which helps in the caramelization process. Sweet onions, such as Vidalia, are especially good for a milder, sweeter result.

These burgers are so delicious and full of flavor - you can't get enough!

What to Serve Caramelized Onions on

Burgers and Sandwiches: The sweetness and depth of flavor elevate the taste of classic beef, turkey, or veggie burgers, adding a luxurious twist to an everyday meal. We love this green chili whiskey onion burger!

Grilled Steaks: The rich, complex flavors of the onions complement the savory notes of the meat, enhancing its natural juiciness and adding an extra layer of taste.

Flatbreads and Pizzas: Spread over the base, these onions introduce a sweet and savory component that balances well with cheeses, meats, and vegetables, adding a sophisticated flair.

Bruschetta and Crostini: Used as a topping, they add a burst of flavor to these appetizers, making them stand out with an elegant and unexpected taste combination.

Cheese Platters: Pairing them with a variety of cheeses, they can bridge the flavors between sharp, creamy, and blue cheeses, offering a delightful contrast in a sophisticated cheese platter.

Roasted Vegetables: Tossed with roasted vegetables like Brussels sprouts or carrots, they can add a hint of sweetness and a whiskey aroma, enhancing the earthy vegetable flavors.

Mashed Potatoes: Stirring them into or topping mashed potatoes introduces a new flavor dimension that turns a simple side dish into a gourmet experience.

Omelets and Frittatas: Their sweet and savory notes can elevate the taste of egg dishes, adding complexity and richness that makes breakfast or brunch more indulgent.

Grilled Cheese: Adding them to a grilled cheese sandwich transforms a simple comfort food into a gourmet version with a perfect balance of sweet, savory, and cheesy flavors.

Savory Pies and Tarts: Incorporating them into dishes like quiche or savory tarts adds a depth of flavor and a touch of sweetness that complements the main ingredients beautifully.

Soups and Stews: A spoonful on top of hearty soups or stews just before serving can add a surprising twist of flavor, enhancing the overall dish with its rich, caramelized profile.

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They are the most delicious onions ever- and you burn off the whiskey in the pan, so no need to worry much about getting tipsy from these.

honey Whiskey Caramelized Onions Recipe

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Honey Whiskey Caramelized Onions - these are my favorite on burgers!!

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A bowl of caramelized honey-glazed onions in a white bowl.

Honey Whiskey Caramelized Onions

Honey whiskey caramelized onions are a sumptuous blend of sweet and savory, where the onions are slowly cooked to golden perfection, infused with the smooth, rich notes of honey whiskey for a decadent, melt-in-your-mouth topping or condiment.
Course Spreads
Cuisine American
Keyword bourbon onion spread, burger toppings, garnish, onion spread, spread
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6
Calories 106kcal
Author Courtney O’Dell


  • 2 tbsp butter or ghee
  • 1 large onion sliced in half, then into thin strips
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • 4 tbsp whiskey or Burbon
  • 1 tsp celtic sea salt


  • In a large pan, melt butter or ghee.
  • Add onions and salt, stir and let caramelize until medium to caramel brown.
  • Drizzle honey over caramelized onions, stir.
  • Add whiskey, stir, and light with a long handled lighter to burn off.
  • When whiskey is burned off and most of the liquid has cooked off, remove from heat and serve immediately.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 106kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Cholesterol: 16mg | Sodium: 419mg | Sugar: 4g

About Courtney

Courtney loves to share great wine, good food, and loves to explore far flung places- all while masting an everyday elegant and easy style. Courtney writes the popular creative lifestyle blog Sweet C’s Designs- a site devoted to delicious everyday recipes, home decor, crafts, DIY inspiration, and photography tips to help make your every day extraordinary.

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Recipe Rating


  1. Mignone Claudia says:

    If I don’t have honey, can I use brown sugar instead? Thanks.

    1. Katherine says:

      Yes you can use an equal amount of brown sugar.

  2. Amanda says:

    These were excellent such a big hit. Added them to steak sandwiches. Will definitely be a go to recipe.

  3. Ella Brawner says:

    Thank you so much for sharing!! I love carametized onions!!! But I know this will be ober the top!!! And so very good!!