How to Make Whiskey Sauce

Updated February 21, 2017

Whiskey sauce is used on warm puddings like bread pudding and plum pudding to give a sweet glaze to a steamed dessert. It is a cooked sauce with variations for each use. This simple recipe is used on bread pudding and can be made with rum or rum flavouring if preferred. Unlike hard sauce, it is cooked and does not rely on the heat of the pudding to coat the dessert.

Bring the water and sugar just to a rolling boil, stirring. Do not allow to continue to boil. Remove from heat.

Stir in butter and whisk until silky, about a minute and a half. The sugar will stay very hot.

Away from heat, stir in bourbon, whiskey, rum or flavouring. Stir until cool enough to pour into pitcher. Serve warm over bread pudding or plum pudding.

This sauce can also be made with equal portions of butter and sugar melted together (do not boil). After removing from heat, thin the mixture by whisking in a little warm cream before adding bourbon or Irish whiskey.


Some whiskey sauce recipes use an egg and vanilla and some add cornstarch. There are variations for every cuisine and type of pudding. Search for "Whiskey Sauce" for choices.


Be sure to take the sauce off and away from open flame or heating elements before adding any alcohol. Sugar melts at a high temperature, remaining hot enough to burn for a long time. Check the temperature of your sauce before pouring it into a glass serving pitcher.

Things You'll Need

  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup butter (none other)
  • 3 tblsp. bourbon whiskey
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About the Author

An avid perennial gardener and old house owner, Laura Reynolds has had careers in teaching and juvenile justice. A retired municipal judgem Reynolds holds a degree in communications from Northern Illinois University. Her six children and stepchildren served as subjects of editorials during her tenure as a local newspaper editor.