Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Bourbon Ice Cream

By now most of you know, I love bourbon.  I know a lot of people who say “Whoo, I can’t drink bourbon.  Too strong!”  And it’s true, bourbon is not for sissies.  It’s not a frou-frou drink, but I think it’s still something that can be made feminine.  Just look at the beauty of this gorgeous Manhattan I made last fall.  I think a lot of people are probably just intimidated by the powerful aroma & taste of bourbon.  Or perhaps they had a bad experience with a not-so-good bourbon.  That’s sad, because, I think bourbon is such a complex spirit with a large palate of flavors that it can pull from to produce a unique flavor experience.  In my opinion, in most expertly mixed drinks, when you order a vodka-mixed drink, you’re tasting the flavors of the other things in the cocktail + the alcohol.  But when you order a bourbon cocktail, you’re tasting the spirit enhanced by complimentary flavors.  The bourbon is the star, and the other ingredients are the supporting cast.

I used Four Roses for this ice cream.

As I step down from my soap box, let me encourage to you to try bourbon.  Whether it be for the first time, or to give it a second chance.  For anyone wanting a reintroduction into the flavors of bourbon, how about using it in the kitchen?  Cake is a good place to start.  Dessert bars.  And now, ice cream!  Obviously, ice cream is a DELICIOUS way to eat anything (corn ice cream anyone?).  This ice cream calls for a mere 5 Tablespoons, so it’s definitely not going to scream “BOOOOOOZE!” while you eat it.  I actually cheated and snuck in a little more bourbon, because instead of adding regular vanilla, I used vanilla I made myself by steeping fresh, plump vanilla beans in a bottle of bourbon.

To describe this ice cream, I would say it is grown up & sophisticated.  Definitely not something you would be serving to kids (duh).  Not just because of the fact there is alcohol in it, but be cause there’s no way they could appreciate the smooth & subtle flavor essence, with hints of caramel & vanilla that bourbon brings to the table in this ice cream.  This ice cream has elegance & class!  I kinda wish now I’d enjoyed it in a crystal goblet.  Except for the fact I don’t have one.  Hmm…

Now, you’re probably gonna want to know what this deliciousness is that is drizzled on top of the ice cream, right?  Salted Caramel Sauce.  Yeah, you’re gonna want to make that too!


Bourbon Ice Cream

Yield: about 5 cups

Cook Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 9 hours 30 min

I suggest choosing a higher quality bourbon for this ice cream. I went with Four Roses, but you can also consider Woodford Reserve or Knob Creek. Also, this ice cream will set softer than others. It's likely due to the high alcohol content that makes freezing more difficult. I suggest definitely giving your custard plenty of time to rest, such as overnight, in the coolest part of the fridge, to ensure it's as cold as possible before churning.


2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups half and half
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
6 large egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup (packed) dark brown sugar
1/4 teaspoon coarse kosher salt
5 tablespoons bourbon
1 tablespoon vanilla extract


Bring first 3 ingredients to simmer in heavy large saucepan over medium-high heat, stirring until milk powder dissolves completely. Remove from heat.

Combine egg yolks, sugar, brown sugar, and coarse salt in large bowl; whisk until thick and blended. Gradually whisk hot cream mixture into yolk mixture. Return mixture to same saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat until custard thickens enough to leave path on back of spoon when finger is drawn across and temperature registers 175°F to 178°F, about 3 minutes. Remove from heat. Mix in bourbon and vanilla extract. Refrigerate custard uncovered until cold, stirring occasionally, at least 3 hours. DO AHEAD: Custard can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep refrigerated until ready to churn.

Churn according to your ice cream maker's instructions.

Bon Appétit October 2010 via Epicurious

To further spread the knowledge & joy of bourbon, here’s some link love from other bloggers.  I get so happy to see bourbon featured on blogs, and I enjoyed reading each of these posts.

Cook Eat Pray completed the Bourbon Trail. (Pt 1 & Pt 2)

Veggie by Season did a Bourbon Inspired Dinner & Tasting Flight

Joy the Baker made Sweet Tea Bourbon Cocktails

and Bunky Cooks did an in-depth tour at Woodford Reserve & made Bourbon Sweet Potato Biscuits

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21 Responses to “Bourbon Ice Cream”

  1. 1
    Maris (In Good Taste) — June 1, 2011 @ 2:01 am

    I could definitely learn to like bourbon after seeing this dish of ice cream!

  2. 2
    federica — June 1, 2011 @ 4:00 am

    wowwwwwww che meraviglia!!!complimenti!baci!

  3. 3
    branny — June 1, 2011 @ 6:42 am

    I think bourbon was the first alcoholic drink I tried! This recipe looks really good – and I’ve got my eye on another bourbon recipe as well. Maybe I should buy some.

  4. 4
    themilkmanswife — June 1, 2011 @ 7:07 am

    Thank you so much for sharing this!

    I suggested the bourbon trail as a quick getaway to my husband and he loved the idea. We are going next week after a stop in southern IL. I’m not that familiar with bourbon and I’ve never had a bourbon cocktail so I’ve been a bit nervous about trying it on the tour. This post makes me really excited to give it a go! I’m sure we’ll return with a few bottles – this will for sure be on out to-make list! Looks GREAT! 🙂

  5. 5
    JulieD — June 1, 2011 @ 9:17 am

    Erin, this looks so good! I have only cooked with bourbon and have never drank it before. I have a favorite bourbon salmon recipe…now I need to blog about it. 🙂 Hope you’re having a nice week!

  6. 6
    Vivek — June 1, 2011 @ 9:29 am

    I REALLY need an ice cream maker. I’m a huge bourbon lover. Can never go wrong with it.

  7. 7
    Kelsey — June 1, 2011 @ 10:38 am

    Oh my heavens! I know what I want for dessert the first night of my summer break!

  8. 8
    Jessica — June 1, 2011 @ 12:02 pm

    Yes, now please!! Do you think it would ship to FL well?

  9. 9
    jaclyn — June 1, 2011 @ 1:49 pm

    yum! i doubt i’ll ever be a badass like you and be able to drink bourbon on the rocks, but i think i could definitely handle this ice cream!

  10. 10

    Bourbon is something I generally can’t drink, but I LOVE to cook with it. I’m all over this ice cream.

  11. 11
    Kira — June 1, 2011 @ 4:28 pm


  12. 12
    Bakerbynature — June 1, 2011 @ 6:12 pm

    Ok, so I cried a little after reading/ seeing this. Oh, Bourbon… I love it so; ice cream form may be leaning on obsession. Thanks for sharing!

  13. 13
    Mike — June 2, 2011 @ 1:12 pm

    I love bourbon. I love ice cream. I’m fairly certain I would kill for this bourbon ice cream. It looks astounding.

    • Erin replied: — June 2nd, 2011 @ 2:00 pm

      If you’re willing to kill, I think I have a couple people on my list that need taking out. I’ll deliver ice cream in return of the favor. 😀

  14. 14
    amy (fearless homemaker) — June 2, 2011 @ 6:55 pm

    mmm, you know we’re bourbon drinkers over here. i’m bookmarking this to make for the husband’s birthday as a surprise!

  15. 15
    The Trot Line — June 3, 2011 @ 9:22 am

    Bourbon and ice cream!?!? This is most likely what they serve in heaven.

  16. 16
    Bunkycooks — June 10, 2011 @ 12:40 pm

    Hi Erin,

    Thank you for the mention in your post! Woodford Reserve has a gorgeous facility and it was so much fun. BTW, I love Bourbon Ice Cream. Check out the recipe I made on my site from David Lebovitz next time you make it. It was incredible.

    Have a great weekend!


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  18. 17
    Shannon — December 6, 2012 @ 8:20 am

    You mention churning in the beginning paragraph but that step isn’t in the directions…did I miss something? I’m so excited to try it for my hubby, thanks for the recipe!

    • Erin replied: — December 6th, 2012 @ 9:06 am

      You are right. I had written it exactly the same as the source recipe (Bon Appetit/Epicurious). Everyone’s ice cream machine is different, so you just churn it according to your own’s instructions. I have now updated the recipe with those instructions to make it clearer.

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