Manhattan Cocktail Ice Cream

Manhattan Cocktail Ice Cream in a glass with cherry

My Manhattan cocktail ice cream has the rich flavor of whiskey and sweet vermouth, with a dash of bitters and, of course, cocktail cherries. Trust me, this is how you want to be consuming your cocktails this summer.

Manhattan Cocktail Ice Cream in a glass with cherry

Cocktail ice creams ~ why didn’t we think of it before? Adding booze to your ice cream has so many benefits!

  • First of all, it’s delicious, and that’s the most important thing. The sophisticated flavors of classic cocktails make a really unexpected pairing with cool, creamy, ice cream. The alcohol offsets the sweetness of the ice cream a bit, balancing things out really nicely.
  • Second, a generous amount of alcohol added to homemade ice cream keeps it soft and scoop-able. If you’ve made homemade ice cream before, you probably know it can get very hard in the freezer and many recipes recommend making and eating the same day, for that reason. Alcohol actually lowers the freezing point of your ice cream, keeping it softer longer in your freezer.
  • There’s only about a single cocktail’s worth of alcohol going into the whole batch, so it’s not going to be overpowering, but the cocktail flavor comes through strongly.
  • This fun idea combines dessert and after dinner cocktails in one ~ and it’s a blast coming up with new ways to spin it.

The Manhattan cocktail ~

The Manhattan is a classic cocktail made from just three simple ingredients

  • whiskey (rye or bourbon)
  • sweet vermouth
  • cocktail bitters
  • It’s often garnished with a cocktail cherry

for Manhattan ice cream you’ll also need:

  • heavy cream
  • whole milk
  • sugar

My favorite ice cream maker ~

I’ve written about my favorite summer kitchen tool, did you catch that post?  Well, my second favorite, in case you can’t guess, is for sure my ice cream maker.  If you don’t have one already, I highly recommend getting yourself an ice cream maker this summer.  They’re surprisingly affordable, durable, and there are few things I love more than hovering over my ice cream maker with my taste testing spoon as it churns up something delicious.

Other cocktail ice creams we’re dreaming about

Keep an eye out for other fun cocktail ice creams as the season goes on, and if you’ve got any suggestions, let me know in the comments!

  • negroni (gin, vermouth, campari)
  • white Russian (vodka, cream, coffee liqueur)
  • boulevardier (whiskey, vermouth, campari)
  • mudslide (vodka, Irish Cream liqueur, coffee liqueur)
  • sazerac (whiskey, peychaud’s bitters, absinthe)
  • mint julep (mint, whiskey)
  • mojito (rum, lime, mint)
  • mai tai (rum, curacao, orgeat syrup, lime)
  • old fashioned (whiskey or brandy, sugar, bitters, muddled fruit)
Manhattan cocktail ice cream in a lowball glass

frozen and fabulous

Manhattan Cocktail Ice Cream in a glass with cherry
5 from 4 votes

Manhattan Cocktail Ice Cream

The Manhattan cocktail ice cream has the rich flavor of whiskey and sweet vermouth, with a dash of bitters and, of course, cocktail cherries. Trust us, this is how you want to be consuming your cocktails this summer.
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 8 servings
Calories 326kcal
Author Sue Moran


  • 2 cups cold heavy cream
  • 1 cup cold whole milk
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 4 Tbsp whiskey
  • 2 Tbsp sweet vermouth
  • 4 dashes bitters
  • 2/3 cup cocktail cherries, sliced in half. I used Luxardo. Find Luxardo cherries here.
  • 2 Tbsp juice from the jarred cherries


  • Whisk together the cream, milk, and sugar and stir to dissolve the sugar.
  • Add the whiskey, vermouth, bitters, and cherry juice. At this point I like to chill the mixture for an hour or two, but it's not absolutely necessary if you're in a rush. As long as it's cold, you're good to go.
  • Pour the mixture into your ice cream machine and churn according to your machine's directions.  Note: alcohol spiked ice cream churns a little bit softer than regular ice cream recipes.
  • When the ice cream is almost finished, add in the cherries and allow them to get fully incorprated.
  • Scoop the soft ice cream into a freezer safe container and freeze for at least a few hours until scoopable.
  • Serve a scoop or two in a lowball glass, garnished with a cherry.

Cook’s notes

It goes without saying, but I’ll say it anyway ~ this recipe has a generous amount of alcohol in it, so keep it away from the kids.


Calories: 326kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 23g | Saturated Fat: 14g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 7g | Cholesterol: 85mg | Sodium: 37mg | Potassium: 89mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 22g | Vitamin A: 933IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 84mg | Iron: 1mg
The nutritional information for recipes on this site is provided as a courtesy and although tries to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures are only estimates.

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    Leave a Reply

    Please rate this recipe!

  • Reply
    Chef Potpie (Laurel)
    August 3, 2021 at 10:21 pm

    5 stars
    Sue, your recipes never disappoint! And this one, well…YUM! I still have mine in the freezer for tomorrow, but I couldn’t wait to taste it, so had to pull it out and get my spoon. This ice cream did not disappoint. It is decadent and so delicious, and I can’t wait to serve it my guests tomorrow. Mine came out more like soft-serve, but I think that is because I used my own home canned cocktail cherries, which are kind of boozy themselves. More alcohol= softer ice cream, but OH my goodness, this stuff is fabulous! Thank you once again, for another amazing recipe. You’re right, this a great way to enjoy summer cocktails!

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      August 4, 2021 at 9:19 am

      I’m especially proud of this recipe Chef 🙂 thanks for your feedback!

  • Reply
    June 29, 2021 at 12:19 pm

    5 stars
    Hello! This ice cream looks delicious and I would like to make this recipe. If you don’t mind me asking, what brand of whiskey and vermouth did you use? Thank you and greetings.

    • Reply
      Sue Moran
      June 29, 2021 at 4:43 pm

      I used Bulleit rye, but you can also use their bourbon. We use Carpano Antika vermouth. Hope you love it Lourdes!

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