Classic Bourbon Fudge

Fudge is a delectable delight that tickles the taste buds of most sweet-toothed people. Bourbon fudge has a delicious twist that gives both the sweet flavor of sugary fudge and the aromatic woody feel of bourbon. Whether you’re looking to create a handcrafted gift for a loved one or simply enjoy a sweet treat at home, making bourbon fudge is quite simple and cheap, and puts a smile on everyone’s face.

A Sweet & Tasty After-Dinner Snack

After a heavy meal, there’s nothing more refreshing than a little sweet treat to finish off the whole experience. Fudge is a dynamite combination of buttery softness that melts in the mouth and sugary scrumptiousness that makes your mouth water and gets your serotonin firing. One of the tastiest confectionaries on the market, fudge is quite easy to make at home and can serve as a great after-dinner delight.

Fudge itself has the creaminess and sweetness that really rounds off a meal or gives you that quick sugar fix. However, when combined with bourbon, you will find that there’s an extra complexity of flavor that gives that adult twist. By adding bourbon, you create a smoky depth to the fudge that delivers an irresistible deliciousness that can’t be ignored.

Two Great American Tastes in a Great Snack  

Both fudge and bourbon hail from the USA. Homegrown products, bourbon and fudge go hand in hand to show some of the true tastes of America. Born in the late 1800s, fudge is rumored to have come from a lucky mistake. While making caramels, a grocery store in Baltimore botched the batch. This ‘fudged’ attempt at making caramels created a creamier texture that was equally as delicious but entirely different to caramels. Unlike caramels, the temperature difference used to make fudge creates the crystalline structure of the sugar, giving the smooth, creaminess found in fudge.

Archives have shown that a girl called Emelyn Battersby Hartridge made 30 pounds of fudge for the Vassar Senior Auction at her school, having tasted this mistakenly-made batch at the Baltimore grocery store. This seems to be the beginning of the fudge craze, which has now led to fudge being made in abundant varieties worldwide and enjoyed in a myriad of flavors and textures.

The bourbon twist to this recipe combines another great American flavor. As Whisky Chicks readers surely know, the bourbon that we know and love today, was first crafted in the 18th century, but the distinct flavor we’re so familiar with wasn’t created until the late 19th century; around the same time as fudge.

Despite coming from opposite ends of the country, fudge and bourbon both demonstrate a certain proclivity for tastes at a time of great American success. Together their flavors form a truly American taste that captures the history and complexity of American culture.


To make bourbon fudge, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 12 ounces of milk chocolate
  • 6 ounces of dark chocolate
  • 1 can of sweetened condensed milk (14 ounces)
  • 1-2 ounces of bourbon (the variety of bourbon you use will create the distinctive flavor of each batch)
  • 1 teaspoon of orange extract or vanilla extract (orange gives a tangier flavor whereas vanilla gives a smoother sweetness)
  • 2 ounces of butter
  • 1 teaspoon of salt

How To Melt the Chocolate

There are a couple of ways to melt chocolate, but it is always important to heat chocolate slow and low otherwise you run the risk of burning it. If you have a microwave, you can use this but make sure to set it at a low heat. Set the microwave to heat the chocolate for 30 seconds. Take it out and stir this and heat again for 30 seconds. Repeat the process until the chocolate is in liquid form and both dark and milk chocolate have melted together evenly.

Alternatively, you can melt the chocolate on the stove. While some people simply put a pan on the stove with the chocolate inside, the direct heat can cause it to burn very quickly. A better method is to fill a saucepan with water. Find a glass or Pyrex bowl that fits on top of the pan. Place the chocolate in this bowl and slowly heat the water. As the water heats, it will heat the bowl and melt the chocolate more evenly. Remember to keep stirring as the chocolate melts.

Making the Fudge

First you need to take a baking tray that is around 8 inches by 8 inches. Line this with baking paper or grease the tray with butter or a cooking spray. Next, you need to melt the chocolate. While the chocolate is still warm, slowly and evenly stir in the sweetened condensed milk.

You need to keep stirring evenly while you add the vanilla or orange extract, butter and salt. Make sure to cut the butter into small cubes so it melts easily in the chocolate. Or you can melt the butter beforehand so it slides into the chocolate mixture more easily. Add the bourbon and stir until you have a smooth, even, creamy texture.

Pour the mixture into the baking tray, moving it around until it fills the tray evenly. Pop this into the refrigerator for a couple of hours. It should be hard after one hour, but a couple of hours will make sure the crystals form well and hold the structure. Once firm, cut the fudge into squares. Serving with raspberries gives a beautiful fresh twist, while nutty almonds can add depth and texture.

Fudge is such a delectable treat, enjoyed by many. A simple recipe, bourbon fudge puts an adult twist on a family favorite. Not only is this delicious dessert very simple to make, it takes no time at all and is relatively cheap. This makes it the perfect handmade gift. If you cut your fudge into smaller squares, you can fill a mason jar and decorate for an adorable adult birthday or Christmas present for every grown-up sweet tooth you know.