Irish Whiskey Ice Cream 1

All Saint Patrick’s Day food doesn’t have to be green.  In fact, the best of it is decidedly not green, like IRISH STEWBROWN BREAD,  and of course, whiskey.  But don’t think this Whiskey Ice Cream is just for St Paddy’s Day, either, it’s going to  be killer on your holiday pies, and I bet it would make a pretty great adult milkshake this summer, so keep this little gem of a recipe in your back pocket, it’ll come in handy, I promise.

Irish Whiskey Ice Cream 2

If you were awake during high school chemistry class you probably know that alcohol freezes at a higher temperature than most other liquids.  That means that it’s very tough to make ice cream with a strong alcohol content….the alcohol raises the freezing temperature of the ice cream and it turns out soupy, no matter how long you leave it in the freezer.   You can make a soft serve type of thing, but for a true ice cream consistency, it takes some creative thinking.

Irish Whiskey Ice Cream 3

I added a packet of gelatin to my regular ice cream recipe, and that does the trick.  It thickens the ice cream and allowes me to spike it with enough Bushmills to be worthy of the name.  I can’t pretend that having multiple test batches of Irish whiskey ice cream in the freezer is a bad thing…but I will say that this recipe took some experimentation.  I eventually came up with a bang on creamy, scoopable, whiskey ice cream.  I hope you’ll try it!

Irish Whiskey Ice Cream


  • 1 1/2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1/2 cup cold milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 packet gelatin (1/4 oz)
  • 1/3 cup Irish whiskey
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Mix the cream and milk together with the sugar. Stir to completely dissolve the sugar.
  2. Sprinkle the gelatin over 1/4 cup of cold water. Let sit one minute. Then pour 1/4 cup of boiling water over that and stir to completely dissolve the gelatin.
  3. Pour the gelatin into the cream mixture and stir. Refrigerate the mix until cold, about 2 hours.
  4. Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and process according to directions.
  5. When the ice cream is starting to look firm, pour in the whiskey and the vanilla. This will thin out the mixture again. Let the ice cream churn until it is thickened again.
  6. Spread the soft ice cream in a loaf pan and freeze until firm.


I added a touch of brown gel food coloring to the ice cream to bring out the color for photographing. This is obviously optional.

Irish Whiskey Ice Cream 4

This ice cream is just perfect all by itself, but if you were in the mood for embellishment, there is always BITTERSWEET HOT FUDGE SAUCE, or how about using it as a base for AFFOGATO and pour a shot of espresso over a scoop or two?

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37 Responses to Irish Whiskey Ice Cream

  1. Nil Stolt says:

    I believe you messed up the part with the freezing point of alcohol. Alcohol freezes at a ‘lower’ (rather than higher) temperature than most other liquids. This is why it stays softer (less frozen) than water below the water freezing point. If you add alcohol to ice cream, it requires it to be colder to freeze (since the new freezing point is below the original freezing point) and you have to reach a lower temperature than usual. I hope i’m making sense.
    Either way, I will definitely try out this recipe out this weekend. Looks delicious!

  2. Theresa Meehan Currie says:

    I’ve got to make this for St. Patrick’s Day. Nice to see the brand you used in the back ground of the picture. Perfect for dessert after corned beef and cabbage!!!

  3. Cassandra says:

    I was really excited to make this for my Irish husband who loves everything whiskey! I have never use gelatin when making ice cream before, and I was a little put off by the texture when I took it out of the fridge. I had a really hard time getting it to a creamy, softserve consistency. I had to take it out of the ice cream maker stir rapidly and add back in several times, otherwise I was getting large sections that were icy. Could this be fixed by adding half of the liquor before chilling?

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  10. grace says:

    i get so excited when i find ice cream recipes that don’t require a machine!

  11. Whiskey ice cream! Oh my goodness! You just might be a genius-that high school chemistry class came in handy!

  12. Danguole says:

    Gelatin? Brilliant! I’ll have to try that. I always reduce booze so I can use more to flavor ice cream–definitely trying your trick next! Pinned!

  13. Mary says:

    This is so cool, Sue. I love that you figured out the gelatin to help it set with a good bit of alcohol in it! I bet it tastes amazing.

  14. Sara says:

    I’m intrigued by using the gelatin – I’ve seen that for soft serve but not regular ice cream. Curious to try.

    I love Haagen Daz Baileys ice cream – it’s so boozy tasting. This sounds like a perfect homemade alternative for pouring hot coffee over…

    • Sue says:

      Well, the thing is, the store bought versions can never contain as much real alcohol as you can get making it yourself, so try this with Bailey’s and compare!

      • Brenda says:

        I whipped up a batch with Bailey’s last night. It was a roaring success! Since Haagen Dazs discontinued their Bailey’s…now I have another outlet!

  15. Sue ! This is amazing!! and certainly to-die-for ice cream, auhhh!! Your photos are stunning!
    Thanks for a great recipe- we love Irish whiskey and Irish Cream and we are in the procees of making a dessert to post soon! But yours is heaven, LOVE IT!

  16. dina says:

    oh my, that sounds wonderful!

  17. I always add a tablespoon or two of liquor to ice cream to help it stay softer. Love the idea of adding gelatin to boozy ice cream to help in the hardening process; the possibilities are endless!

  18. Joanne says:

    Good idea on the gelatin! I was wondering how you got a really strong whiskey flavor in there. It may be crazy cold here, but I could still use a big bowl of this! (With hot fudge on top to warm me up :P)

  19. Teresa Davis says:

    Need to get an ice cream maker. Any suggestions/recommendations?

    • Sue says:

      I love my Cuisinart, it’s the base model, I think it sells for around $40-50, and it’s just super simple to use. .Here’s a link:

      • Teresa Davis says:

        Sue, many thanks. Have to fix this for my husband who loves Irish whiskey. And, every summer I get a ‘hankering’ for peach ice cream – made with reduced peach nectar and peach schnapps. Obviously we like a little booze with our ice cream!

  20. You know this calls my name! Yum – I’m such a fan of Irish anything – especially whiskey. Lovely recipe Sue!

  21. Now this is the way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, love the Irish Whiskey!

  22. cheri says:

    I really like the fact that there is no food coloring in this. Great tips! Drat! Still need to buy the ice cream attachment for my kitchenaide mixer.

    • Sue says:

      Well, I did add a smidge of brown gel coloring, just for the photos, but there’s no need to do that, the ice cream will be pale, but the flavor speaks for itself!

  23. Oh my goodness, this has my name written all over it. And I just got a new ice cream maker so definitely going to give this a try!

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