Coffee Bourbon Chocolate Chip Ice Cream

Homemade coffee ice cream with bourbon and chocolate chips!

  • Yield: Makes one quart


  • 2 cups heavy whipping cream, separated 1 cup and 1 cup
  • 1 1/4 cups milk
  • 7/8 cup of sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup dark roasted coffee beans (use decaf beans if avoiding caffeine)
  • 6 egg yolks
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp bourbon
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 5 ounces semi-sweet chocolate, chopped into chip-sized chunks


1 Steep the coffee beans in milk, cream, with sugar and salt, then strain: Place the milk, 1 cup of the cream, sugar, salt, and coffee beans in a medium saucepan and heat on medium heat until little bubbles form at the edge of the pan and the milk cream mixture is steamy. Remove from heat, cover, and let sit for 1 hour.

After the beans have steeped in the hot milk cream mixture for an hour, strain the mixture and discard the beans.

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2 Chill remaining cream in an ice bath: While the beans are infusing the milk cream mixture, place the remaining 1 cup of cream in a medium metal bowl, set over ice water in a larger bowl. Place a mesh strainer over the the bowl.


3 Temper the eggs with the hot milk cream mixture: Return the milk cream mixture to the saucepan and heat on medium heat until once again steamy. Do not let boil. Whisk the egg yolks in a separate, medium bowl. While whisking the egg yolks, slowly add to the egg yolks some of the hot milk cream mixture. It helps to use a ladle for this. You'll want to add about half of your milk cream mixture. (This step is to temper the eggs to help prevent curdling.) Pour the egg mixture into the saucepan with the rest of the milk cream mixture.

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4 Heat the ice cream base until it starts to thicken: Slowly heat the custard base on medium heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of the spoon. When you can easily run your finger across the back of the spoon and have the mixture not run, take the saucepan off the heat.

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5 Strain mixture into chilled cream: Immediately pour the hot custard mixture through the strainer over the rest of the cream in the ice bath. This will help cool down the mixture quickly. Some curdles may have formed, if so the strainer will catch them.


6 Chill several hours: Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours (preferably overnight) until well chilled.

7 Stir in bourbon and vanilla: When ready to process in your ice cream maker, stir in the bourbon and the vanilla extract. Do not use more than 2 1/2 tablespoons of bourbon or your ice cream will not get firm. (Use no more than 3 Tbsp of bourbon, or the ice cream will have a hard time freezing.)

8 Process in ice cream maker: Process in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer's instructions.

9 Add chocolate chips: Once processed, stir in the chocolate chips and place in a container into the freezer. Let freeze for several hours (to firm) before serving.

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  • Samuel Brown

    Whenever I use bourbon in ice cream I usually add it while I’m boiling the milk. It gives the alcohol a change to dissipate and keeps the ice cream former than been able to achieve adding where the recipe says. No one has ever noticed a taste difference. I do the same with vanilla extract as it is usually a higher percentage of alcohol than bourbon is.

  • Lee

    We used four rounded scoops of ground coffee, then strained it thru a screen used for stooping bacon from spattering. Worked great! The little pieces of cooffee grounds left behind gave the ice cream the texture of natural vanilla. Also, used two tablespoons of Kaluha instead of Bourbon. The result was amazing!

  • Zakopane_ski

    Delicious ice cream, cool recipe! Thanks!


  • Tam

    My husband made this wonderful recipe this past weekend. It was time intensive but so worth it! Rich, buttery and the bourbon added a perfect note! The only change my husband said was that he would probably use a little less sugar. We loved it! Thank you!!


  • Rachel

    LOL I found out the reason that you use whole coffee beans instead of grounds! If you use grounds, you won’t be able to get all of them out of the cream. I even tried using a coffee filter in my sieve but the cream was too thick to drain through. Next time I won’t be lazy and will go buy the whole beans haha!

  • Bonnie Burkart

    Finally– a recipe that has me digging out my ice cream maker from the back of the closet. Have been uninspired thus far this summer, but I love coffee ice cream and ANYthing with a hint of bourbon! Thanks so much!

  • Laura

    Hi Elise, I love coffee ice cream; this looks delicious! Where do you get your decaf beans? I have only been able to fin decaf ground coffee and much prefer grinding my own beans if possible. Thanks!

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Laura, I get decaf whole beans at Whole Foods. I’m guessing you could get them at a local Starbucks too.

  • Eli

    Sounds really delicious!
    Is there a reason you use whole beans instead of grinding them first? It seems like you’d get just as much coffee flavor with half the beans if you ground them then strained the milk/cream after it steeps.

  • Mary Frances

    Wow, what a unique ice cream flavor!! Perfect for a decadent summer treat :)