It’s great to make ice cream at home, but unless you have professional equipment or a tank of liquid nitrogen on hand, the consistency is usually on the hard side. One easy way to remedy this is to add booze to your ice cream. Some recipes recommend adding a small amount of neutral-tasting vodka. For fruit-based recipes, macerating fruit in kirsch is an excellent solution as it enhances the taste of the fruit, similar to what you would do for a fruit salad. By why not make the booze front and center?
Years ago I started using the Ben & Jerry’s Homemade Ice Cream & Dessert Book. Their ice cream base #1 is as simple as it gets, requiring no cooking whatsoever, and just four ingredients: eggs, sugar, heavy cream, and milk. The book contains a variation with kahlua and amaretto, but that never particularly appealed to me. However I had this idea to make a Calvados ice cream – why not, good Calvados is delicious, like apples in liquor form. The only difficult part is to accept the idea to part with 1/2 cup (4 oz, 110 mL) of Calvados which equates to a non negligible 16% of an entire bottle… But it’s worth it and the ice cream keeps for a while (in theory – it will be gone before you know it). You can use it on a pound cake as pictured below, or even better on an apple tart. The cream smoothes the Calvados and the fat in the ice cream allows to better enjoy the aromatics (at least that is what I tell myself after a couple of generous scoops).
Calvados ice cream (yield 1 quart/1 liter)
Whisk two eggs for a minute | add 3/4 cup sugar and whisk for another minute | add 2 cups cream, 1 cup milk, 4 oz Calvados | pour into ice cream maker and churn per manufacturer’s instructions
Basing the flavor of the ice cream on a dessert that already contains alcohol is another logical choice. A nice treat is a tiramisu ice cream with kahlua and rum (the recipe is in David Lebovitz’s The Perfect Scoop).
In France prunes are often served soaked in Armagnac as a dessert, so making a prune and Armagnac ice cream makes sense for a French twist on rum & raisin.
But then why not go completely outside of the box and try a Chartreuse ice cream. For this one I used David Lebovitz’s ice cream base which does not contain eggs. The ice cream has a green tinge and is fantastic with chocolate (these are dark chocolate covered speculoos in the picture; a drizzle of homemade chocolate sauce is great too). The taste is quite intense and herbal.
Chartreuse ice cream (yield 1 quart/1 liter)
2 2/3 cups (660 mL) whole milk | 1 1/3 cups (320 g) sour cream | 3/4 cup (150 g) sugar | 3 tablespoons (1 1/2 oz, 45 mL) green Chartreuse | mix until blended | pour into ice cream maker and churn per manufacturer’s instructions
Other people have suggested making ice cream with amaro which sounds like a great idea. For example Melleti has been recommended by Dan on eGullet).
What is your favorite boozy ice cream?
- Lots of good ideas in this article from Imbibe magazine