Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream |

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

This post was originally published here June 23, 2014. I’ve since updated the text and photographs. I hope you try out this fun adult-only ice cream flavor!

I’m very particular about the consistency of my ice cream. It should be melty. But not melting.

You feel me?

This consistency issue is something I take very seriously. I’ve been known to leave a container of ice cream out at room temperature untouched for upwards of half an hour to achieve this sweet spot of melty/not melting before digging in. And sometimes, when I have zero patience left in me, I’ll even put the whole container of ice cream in the microwave so I can get from point A to point B as quickly as possible.

So why am I harping on this point? Because it’s one of the main reasons why I fell in love with this Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream. If you remember way back to science class, you might recall that alcohol has a lower freezing point than water. Meaning it requires a colder temperature to freeze. And since this ice cream contains bourbon (and since we’re not changing the temperature of our entire freezer just for this ice cream!), it doesn’t freeze as hard or as solid as it would if it didn’t have the bourbon.

Voilà! My perfect ice cream consistency achieved.

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream |

This Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream also wins me over in taste department. It’s sultry and sweet. And the high number of egg yolks means this custard-based ice cream is extra rich and creamy. 

If you’re a bourbon lover, this is such a fun way to experiment with it in a way that isn’t just limited to cocktails. I hope you give this “grown-up” ice cream a try this Summer!



Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

At a Glance:
Yield: Makes about 1 quart
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Additional Time: 12 hours
Total Time: 12 hours 40 minutes


  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3/4 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
  • 2 tablespoons bourbon
  • 2 ounces dark chocolate, finely chopped


  1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt until the egg yolks become pale yellow and the mixture is slightly thickened. Set aside.
  2. In a heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat, warm the milk, heavy cream and brown sugar just until bubbles start to form around the edges of the pan, stirring frequently to help dissolve the brown sugar and prevent scorching. Do not let the mixture come to a boil. 
  3. Remove the saucepan from the heat. Quickly whisk about 1/2 cup of the warm liquid into the egg yolk mixture. Then pour the tempered egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan, whisking constantly as you do so.
  4. Return the saucepan to the heat and cook the custard, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon, until it’s thicken and coats the back of the spoon, about 2-4 minutes. Do not let the custard come to a boil.
  5. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the vanilla extract. Carefully strain the custard through a fine mesh strainer into a clean bowl, discarding any collected solids. Cover the custard with plastic wrap, pushing the plastic wrap directly down onto the surface of the custard to prevent a skin from forming, and refrigerate it until it’s completely chilled, at least 6 hours or up to 24 hours. 
  6. Make sure the canister of your ice cream maker is completely frozen (typically at least 6 hours).
  7. Pour the chilled custard and bourbon into your ice cream maker and churn according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once the custard is nearly frozen and the consistency of soft serve (typically about 20 minutes), add the chopped chocolate and churn for another 2-3 minutes, or just until the chocolate is evenly distributed.
  8. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe container. Cover with plastic wrap and freeze until completely firm, about 4-6 hours.


Recipe barely adapted from Bon Appétit.

24 comments on “Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream”

  1. The flavors in this are so perfect, love it!!!

  2. I’m not a bourbon fan, but I think this would be fabulous with amaretto! Can’t wait to try it! Thanks for the recipe!!

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  4. I’ve read through the recipe several times (I’m trying it tonight), and there’s no mention of adding the 1/8 tsp salt that is listed in the ingredients. Where do I add that?

    • Good catch, Therese! Whisk it with the egg yolks and sugar. I fixed the recipe to reflect this. Thanks!!

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  6. When you say brown sugar – what kind? Muscavado? Demerara? Light? Dark?

    Also, any chance of getting a ML conversion instead of cups?

    • I used light brown sugar. And there are lots of free conversion tools on the internet if you need the quantities represented differently.

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  9. Of course you had me at bourbon, I bet this is insanely good, and I love what alcohol does to the texture of ice cream!

  10. The flavor combo in this ice cream is just… cray. Love it. <3

  11. This would be good with brandy I bet. Yum!

  12. Are you sure the milk and cream measurements are correct? I just finished churning this and it didn’t make very much. Nowhere near a quart with just 1 and 3/4 cup of the creams. Flavor is spot on, but the amount seems like a small batch.

    • Hi Julie! Glad the flavor was good. The measurements are correct. I had written that it makes a scant quart, but I’ve changed it to 3 cups because I think that’s probably a closer estimate. Thanks for alerting me.

  13. great flavor with bourbon, just enough to cut the sweetness of the ice cream, thank you!

  14. The perfect flavor combo LIZ!! Yes to a bit of alcohol in the ice cream mix… it totally makes the recipe in flavor and in melting point lol! Delicious!

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