Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

In my opinion, nobody does ice cream like New Englanders.

Nowhere else that I’ve traveled or lived have I witnessed people as obsessed with frosty, sugary, creamy treats as the people who reside in New England. New Englanders LOVE their ice cream. But it’s not just for the taste alone. It’s a part of the culture. A ritual even.

Luckily for me, I’m hanging out at the New England seacoast right now. So consequently, I’m getting my fill of ice cream while I’m here. And all other things New Englandy. Can you say apple cider donuts and lobster rolls…..errr…..I mean lobsta’ rolls? Yeah. I’m having all of those things. In large amounts. Hey. I’m on vacation. Don’t judge me.

But enough about me and what I’m eating. Let’s talk about this Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream. Because WHOA! I can’t even deal.


The bourbon definitely steals the show here. It’s front and center. But not in a way that’s overpowering. And the brown sugar is a key player as well. It provides a depth of flavor that regular old granulated sugar just can’t bring to the table. I can’t believe that it never occurred to me to make ice cream with brown sugar before. Things are certainly about to change from here on out.

The bourbon doesn’t just give this ice cream some wicked good flavor. It also changes the texture, making it softer than other ice creams (remember that alcohol lowers the freezing point). And that is something that I really dig about this recipe. Because I like it when my ice cream gets a little melty around the edges. It’s that middle ground between soft serve and hard ice cream that I ultimately crave. And this Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream hits the sweet spot in terms of texture. I think you’re going to love it!



Recipe slightly adapted from Bon Appétit

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream

Yield: Makes about 3 cups

Bourbon and Brown Sugar Ice Cream


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


  1. Before you start, make sure the canister of your ice cream maker is frozen. To freeze completely, the canister should be in the freezer for at least 6 hours before you attempt to churn your ice cream.
  2. Make the ice cream base. In a heavy bottom saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the milk, heavy cream, brown sugar and vanilla extract. Bring the mixture to a low boil. It will appear slightly curdled, but that’s totally normal. Don’t worry and keep going!
  3. Meanwhile, in a separate bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, granulated sugar and salt until the egg yolks become pale yellow and slightly thickened.
  4. Temper the egg yolks by whisking about a 1/2 cup of the warm milk/cream/brown sugar mixture into the egg yolks. Then whisk the tempered egg yolks back into the saucepan with the remaining milk/cream/brown sugar mixture. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly, until the ice cream base thickens and coats the back of a spoon, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat. Strain through a fine-mesh sieve into a clean bowl. Cover with plastic wrap, pushing it all the way down so it touches the surface of the ice cream base to prevent a skin from forming. Refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours or up to 24 hours.
  5. Once completely chilled, pour the ice cream base into the canister of your ice cream maker along with the bourbon. Churn until the mixture is nearly frozen and the consistency of soft serve, about 20 minutes. Add the dark chocolate and churn for another 2-3 minutes to evenly distribute the chocolate.
  6. Transfer the ice cream to a freezer-safe container and place in your freezer. The ice cream should become firm in about 4 hours. Enjoy!

20 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!!

  5. Pingback: Brown Sugar Bourbon Ice Cream - Treats and Trends

  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.

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