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Irish Coffee Ice Cream

A delicious homemade ice cream laced with whisky.
Prep: 1 hour
Chilling time: 7 hours
Total: 8 hours
Servings: 8 servings (makes one quart).
Author: The Bojon Gourmet


  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons whole coffee beans
  • 1/2 vanilla bean, split and scraped
  • 1 cup whole milk, plus a few extra tablespoons for topping off the cream (see directions, below)
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 4-5 tablespoons whiskey


  • Combine the cream, coffee beans and vanilla pod and scrapings in a medium saucepan. Warm over a medium flame, shuffling the pan occasionally, until the cream is steaming and bubbles form around the sides of the pan. Remove from the heat, cover, and let steep for 1 hour, shuffling the pan a few times during the hour to evenly saturate the beans.
  • Strain the cream into a 2 or 4-cup capacity measuring cup. Slowly pour enough whole milk over the beans to bring the mixture back to 1 1/2 cups, rinsing the beans with the milk. Press on the beans to extract any extra liquid, then discard the beans. Chill the infused cream while you make the custard. (The cream can be infused ahead of time, covered, and chilled for up to several days.)
  • In the now empty saucepan, warm the remaining 1 cup of milk until it is steaming and small bubbles form around the edges. Whisk together the egg yolks, sugar and salt in a medium bowl to combine and anchor the bowl on a damp towel. Slowly drizzle the hot milk into the yolk mixture, whisking constantly, then return the mixture to the saucepan. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly with a heatproof spatula, until the mixture starts to 'stick' (form a film othe bottom of the pan, and/or registers 170ยบ on an instant read thermometer. (This will only take a minute or two.) Immediately strain the custard into the coffee-infused cream. Optionally chill the ice cream base over an ice bath.
  • Now for the important bit: stir in that whiskey!
  • Cover and chill the base in the fridge for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight, or up to 3 days (I like to put it in a 1-quart, wide-mouth mason jar.)
  • Place the ice cream base in the freezer for half an hour to get it really cold, stirring (or shaking, if in a mason jait every 10 minutes. (I also like to place the vessel in which I will be storing the ice cream in the freezer to get it cold so the churned ice cream doesn't melt on contact.) Spin the ice cream in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions. The ice cream will still be fairly soft when it is done churning, about the consistency of a thick-ish milk shake, but it will firm up in the freezer.
  • Glop the ice cream into a large jar or loaf pan, cover, and freeze for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. The ice cream will still be pliant, but should be firm enough to scoop.
  • The ice cream is best within the first few days of churning when ice crystals are at a minimum, but it will keep, covered and with a piece of parchment paper pressed to its surface, for a month or two.


Give yourself 1-2 days to complete this ice cream, but know that the time is mostly inactive: 1 hour to steep the cream with the coffee beans, 4 hours to chill the ice cream base, and several hours to overnight to firm the churned ice cream in the freezer.
If you lack an ice cream maker, check out David Lebovitz's post on making ice cream without one. And if you lack a vanilla bean, add 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract along with the whiskey.
Good coffee ice cream starts with good coffee; I used a dark-roasted swiss water decaf (from Coast Roast in Tomales, California) so that I can eat this for dessert and not get the jitters.
For the whiskey, I use Jameson, which is my current favorite drinking whiskey, but use what you like - bourbon or dark rum would probably be tasty substitutes (though the ice cream will no longer be 'Irish'). The amount of whiskey here creates an ice cream with a soft set that (unfortunately) doesn't taste strongly of booze; but don't be tempted to add more, or your ice cream may not set at all and end up like a creamy slushy. If you want more whiskey flavor (and really, who doesn't?) splash it over individual scoops; or float a scoop in a mug of real Irish coffee.
Nutritional values are based on one of 8 servings.


Calories: 269kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 20g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Cholesterol: 162mg | Sodium: 38mg | Potassium: 84mg | Sugar: 14g | Vitamin A: 835IU | Vitamin C: 0.2mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 0.3mg
Making this? I'd love to see!Tag your snaps @The_Bojon_Gourmet and #bojongourmet!