Ask For It: Handle’s High West Whiskey and Caramel Budino


Dishing editor Cara Rank doesn’t consider herself a dessert person, but the whiskey caramel budino at Handle caught her attention, so she put in a special request for the recipe. We’ve also gotten several reader requests for it, now that it’s no longer on the menu.

The rich pudding is made better with salted caramel and balanced with a whipped mascarpone. Crumbled Chex cereal topped with powdered sugar on top adds a whimsical flare and texture. It’s sort of like the grown-up version of those “dirt cups” of your childhood!

handle dessert

Handle’s High West Whiskey and Caramel Budino


  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup corn syrup
  • Splash of water
  • 3 cups heavy cream
  • 1 1/2 cups whole milk
  • 1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 egg
  • 5 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 5 tablespoons butter, cubed
  • Salt to taste
  • 2 tablespoons High West Double Rye Whiskey or whiskey of your choice


  1. In a large stockpot, cook the brown sugar and corn syrup with a splash of water over medium heat until slightly caramelized in color.
  2. Stir continually so as not to burn the sugar.
  3. Add in the cream, milk, vanilla bean and seeds.
  4. Continue cooking over medium heat until all the caramelized sugar is dissolved, about 8 minutes.
  5. In a large bowl, whisk together the yolks, whole egg and cornstarch.
  6. Temper the hot cream into the egg and cornstarch mixture slowly, then add back to the pot.
  7. Cook over low to medium heat for another 6 minutes, stirring continuously until thick.
  8. Pull out the vanilla bean.
  9. Shut off the heat and emulsify the pudding with the butter, salt and a splash or two of whiskey. (An immersion hand blender works well for this or transfer to a regular blender)
  10. Taste and adjust as necessary with salt and whiskey.
  11. Working quickly so a skin doesn't form, transfer the pudding to a pitcher with a spout and pour into your desired vessels.
  12. Cool in the refrigerator.
  13. Unused pudding can be kept in a container for 3 days.
  14. Just buzz up the cold pudding with your immersion blender or regular blender and scrape into a disposable piping bag.

About Author

Locke Hughes is a freelance journalist currently based in Park City, who used to live in NYC until the mountains called. She believes long hikes and hot yoga — as well as wine and delicious food — play an important role in a happy life. Follow her outdoors and eating adventures on Instagram @lockehughes.

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