perfect bourbon vanilla ice cream

My (adult) kids gave me an Cuisinart ice cream maker for Christmas. Perhaps it was a self-serving gift, but I thought it was inspired. I’ve used it several times since then, in an effort to perfect a bourbon vanilla ice cream recipe. Here’s my version of perfect.

Perfect Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream

6 egg yolks
1 pint heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
1/2 cup half and half
3/4 cup sugar
1 Tablespoon vanilla extract
1/4 – 1/3 cup bourbon (taste it and see how boozy you want it)

In a heavy bottomed saucepan, heat cream, milk, half and half, and sugar just to a boil.
Separate egg yolks to a large heat-proof bowl. Slowly add 2 cups of the hot cream mixture in a thin stream to the yolks while constantly whisking. (This tempering keeps the yolks from curdling when they meet up with the hot cream.) Whisk the tempered egg yolks back into the pan of remaining hot cream mixture, and simmer for two more minutes, stirring constantly.
Remove from heat.

Add vanilla, then bourbon, stirring constantly. Start with 1/4 cup bourbon, and add a little more until it tastes just the way you want it. I used just over 1/4 cup.

Cool over an ice bath, or in the refrigerator for at least 5 hours. Process in an ice cream machine according to manufacturer’s instructions. You may need to chill it further in the freezer after processing, as it can be quite soft, even after processing. Servings: 6 to 8 servings, or more, depending on how you use it.


I used my first ice cream attempt for profiteroles, using this recipe for shells. I’d halve the recipe next time, and make them smaller/cuter and serve them in a trio, drizzled with chocolate truffle sauce.


My second ice cream attempt had a firmer texture, but wasn’t sweet enough, and too bourbon-y. It’s still in the freezer. Third time’s a charm! I used it for ice cream sandwiches using those ubiquitous thin ginger cookies you see during the holiday season, and drizzled them with chocolate truffle sauce. They need to go back in the freezer to firm up after making them, so leave yourself a couple hours before serving.


Oh, that chocolate truffle sauce? You’ll find the recipe here.

Back to my knitting!

9 responses to “perfect bourbon vanilla ice cream

  1. I have that ice cream maker too! It’s awesome! A friend of mine told me she makes vanilla ice cream like that, but doesn’t cook it to avoid the eggs curdling. She says the alcohol will kill anything in the eggs, like in eggnog. So that’s the way I do it too.

    • I like cooking the eggs, just a bit, to make it set more like a custard. On my first attempt, I didn’t cook it after tempering, and the ice cream never really set to the firmness I wanted. My second one cooked for 5 minutes, and it seemed just too “done.” I went for the happy medium with the third one!

      Ah, the sacrifices I make to bring you the perfect ice cream. I had to taste them all…

      • I’ll have to try cooking the eggs and see if I like it. It sounds interesting! Besides vanilla I have made mint with homemade mint flavoring and it was really good too =)

      • And now I can make the raspberry and blueberry sorbets that I made last summer, but actually run them through the machine instead of doing the open pan stir in the freezer!

  2. Looks delicious! Sounds like you’re enjoying your gift 🙂

  3. Looks delicious!!! You should bring me some next time you come to Orlando. :::wink::: I’m sure they would do just FINE on the cross country flight. LOL

  4. My parents gave my husband a very expensive ice cream maker. Then a year later he learned he was border line diabetic (its on both sides of his family), so he gave up the one thing he really loved, ice cream. He’s also cut back on other sweets. He did have a lot of fun experimenting with different recipes.

    Love sorbets!

  5. As the recipient of some of the DEE-licious ice cream sandwiches I can’t wait to see what you come up with next!