We are not a big fan of adding H2O to a cooked caramel. It's very dangerous. Should wear long sleeves, glasses, etc.
We bring up our caramels and just give the pan a quick plunge into cool water . This shouldn't cool the caramel but slow the cooking process. If you pull it a shade or two from done it will continue to cook to desired color. We then pour directly into ramekins usually with a sauce pan. I wouldn't be too concerned with drips, they can be cleaned up quite easily. The drips will usually dissipate and the rustic look is pretty traditional.
We us a SS trigger funnel for volume. It resembles a metal funnel with a wooden spoon upside down inside blocking the hole. Then letting just enough out for each vessel.
Please be careful when working with boiled sugar. I have even seen people plunge the hot pot and there is some sort of reaction with the heat and water to cause a "POP". I've seen it take the pot out of someone's hand that weren't paying attention. OUCH!
But have fun! hth's
Edited by panini - 8/17/14 at 5:37pm