Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Bourbon Ice Cream

Sometimes I wonder if I am the type of girl who people think would enjoy bourbon. Ladies are supposed to enjoy sipping champagne, big glasses of wine, and sugary cocktails. And while I do rather enjoy my wine, some moments in life require a glass of Maker’s. Neat, please.

Around the holidays, I started seeing recipes for bourbon eggnog, which you think may have peaked my interest. But drinking warm milk and eggs, even with a boost of bourbon, just is not my type of thing. However - frozen milk and eggs with bourbon? That combination seemed heaven-sent. I had no idea if this brilliant idea would actually work, facing the little technicality that alcohol does not actually freeze. More specifically, a certain ratio must exist between the components, to ensure the ice cream will still freeze, even with the added alcohol.

I am happy to tell you that the below recipe holds the perfect ratio of milk, cream, sugar, eggs, and Maker’s. Each scoop of ice cream emerges effortlessly and unimaginably smooth from the container. The usual ‘burn’ of the bourbon is chilled, only revealing the oak-y, vanilla flavor behind the alcohol.

Bourbon Ice Cream
makes about 1 quart
adapted from 'The Perfect Scoop' by David Lebovitz

The presence of bourbon in this ice cream is not subtle. If you desire just a hint of bourbon, you can reduce the amount of the bourbon to either ¼ cup or ⅓ cup.

1 cup whole milk
¼ cup granulated sugar
2 cups heavy cream, divided
Pinch of table salt
1 vanilla bean, split in half lengthwise
6 large egg yolks
½ cup bourbon, such as Maker’s Mark
¼ teaspoon vanilla extract

Preparation Instructions
Warm the milk, sugar, 1 cup heavy cream, and table salt in a medium saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean into the warm milk and also add the bean pod. When liquid is barely warm to the touch, cover, remove from heat, and let steep at room temperature for 30 minutes.

Pour the remaining 1 cup heavy cream into a large bowl and set a mesh strainer on top. In a separate medium heatproof bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, Slowly pour the warm milk mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly, then scrape the warmed egg mixture back into the saucepan.

Stir the mixture constantly over medium-low heat with a heatproof spatula, scraping the bottom as you stir, until nappe: when the mixture the thickens, coats the spatula, and holds its shape when a you draw a line with your finger across the spatula. Pour the custard through the strainer and stir it into the cream. Put the vanilla bean into the custard, stir in the bourbon and the vanilla extract, and cool over an ice bath, stirring occasionally.

When mixture cools, place in the refrigerator to ripen overnight. When ready to churn, remove the vanilla bean, rinsing and reserving it for another use, and then freeze the mixture in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.


  1. This is a lovely and very tempting ice cream. This is my first time at ur space and loving every bit about it. I ahve also bookmarked this recipe and will surely give it a shot asap.

  2. Oh my word. This looks divine! I can't wait to make it when I go home to my ice cream maker. Too bad I don't have one here at school!

  3. I have been wanting to try out a Bourbon Ice Cream recipe for a few months now. I imagine the flavor is really good - I am now inspired to get to it!

  4. I don't think a quart of ice cream will freeze properly with more than a 1/2 cup of hard liquor in it.

    David Lebovitz always only adds up to 3 T of hard liquor per quart of anything.

  5. "more than" is a typo....

  6. I made this for Christmas to serve with chocolate soufflé. Was fantastic, but I had to change the recipe... added 1C sugar, 1C more milk and reduced the bourbon to 1/3C. The original rcipe was too "eggy" and too much bourbon for my taste...


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