Absinthe Ice Cream Recipe

absinthe ice cream

After giving it considerable thought, I’ve decided to take the advice that I shouldn’t be talking about anything but food, so you won’t find me spouting off anymore about appliance handles, Sarah Palin (although I will get one last word in; that family is a tad wacky, don’t you think?), Man Purses, anything about Paris, miscellaneous problems, les jeunes hommes fawning all over my mid-section, and men’s room finds.

(Although technically, that last one might eke in and qualify, although maybe not, since I didn’t include a recipe.)

Speaking of which, I’m also going to follow other advice to “…get to the recipe already” which precludes me writing a story about this particular dessert. So I won’t be able to tell you how I came about making this particular batch of Absinthe Ice Cream.

There will be no mention of eating it on a boat floating in the Seine, under the twinkling lights of the Eiffel Tower. Nor can I divulge any of the antics that guests on my chocolate tour did this week after eating this. (Which is just as good, because I wouldn’t want to embarrass anyone other than me.)

adding the green stuff chocolate chips 4 blog

And I can’t tell you about how you can use Pernod, or another anise-based liqueur, in place of the absinthe. Or how I made these lickable chocolate pavés, silky nubbins of chocolate, which I embedded in a soft green, hallucinatingly-herbaceous frozen custard, because my hands are tied.

Luckily, though, my tongue wasn’t.

absinthe ice cream

Absinthe Ice Cream

About 1 quart (1l)

  • 1 cup (250ml) whole milk
  • A pinch of salt
  • 2/3 cup (130g) sugar
  • 2 cups (500ml) heavy cream or half-and-half
  • 5 large egg yolks
  • 3-4 tablespoons absinthe
  • about 1 1/2 cups chopped chocolate truffles, or chocolate chips

1. Heat the milk, salt, and sugar in a saucepan.

2. Set up an ice bath by placing a 2-quart (2l) bowl in a larger bowl partially filled with ice and water. Set a strainer over the top of the smaller bowl and pour the cream or half-and-half into the bowl.

3. In a separate bowl, stir together the egg yolks. Rewarm the milk then gradually pour some of the milk into the yolks, whisking constantly as you pour. Scrape the warmed yolks and milk back into the saucepan.

4. Cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heat-resistant spatula, until the custard thickens enough to coat the spatula.

5. Strain the custard into the cream or half-and-half. Stir over the ice until cool, then refrigerate to chill thoroughly. Preferably overnight.

6. Stir in 3 tablespoons of absinthe. Taste, and add another one if desired.

7. Freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Once churned, stir in the chopped chocolate bits.


Related Links:

Vert d’Absinthe

Ice Cream Making FAQs

Absinthe Frappé (Imbibe Magazine)

Easy Chocolate Ice Cream (Recipe)

The Wormwood Society (Absinthe FAQs)

Salted Butter Caramel Ice Cream (Recipe)

Making ice cream without a machine

Meet your maker: buying an ice cream machine

Espresso Granita Affogato (Recipe)


  • I came for the recipes, stayed for the stories and I fell in love with both (enough so that I bought the book an am waiting to have enough money to order the latest one). The anecdotes about life in Paris and the stories behind your recipes make your blog special and what keeps readers coming back for more. Please don’t change a thing!

  • please please don’t stop with the stories! they’re the reason that I love your blog as much as I do!

  • No, No, No! We love all your stories! esp Paris and man purses! And Sara Palin, (Wacky doesn’t begin to describe it!) As you know, food and eating are some much more than recipes.

  • I read this blog religiously and never make comments, but I have to now!! It’s ALL fabulous – the writing, the recipes, the travel and Paris tips. Please don’t change a thing!!! You have a great perspective and make me laugh out loud, not to mention inspire me to run right into the kitchen and start cooking. You are the rare chef that can write, not only about food, but about things I find endlessly amusing and interesting. Keep it coming!

  • As a French chick who’s lived in the US for more than 10 years (now in Canada), I LOVE to see Paris through your eyes! It reminds me of this book I love by Bill Bryson called I’m a Stranger Here Myself: Notes on Returning to America After 20 Years Away.

    Life would be boring if we did what other people want us to do!

  • when i read your post, i thought you were joking about skipping the stories and tidbits about france. however, from your comments, it doesn’t seem like you were joking. :( i really enjoy the stories and sometimes that’s what makes me want to make and eat the dish. I hope you continue to add your wit and observations to our lives.

    and ignore the jerks complaining about typos. its a blog! typos and poor punctuation are practically requirements.

  • No, No, No, the stories and ramblings are the best part!

  • I’m hoping that this is a joke – your blog is wonderful not just because of your recipes, but because of your views and reporting on daily life. How else can I live in Paris, if not vicariously?! Please don’t change!

  • Very funny, David – I think you are one big tease!!!

  • p.s. Oh, and that Debby Boone video really cracked me up!

  • I read your blog often but only left a comment once.
    I am now doing so only cos I HOPE YOU WERE JOKING when you said you’ve going to leave out the stories and the witticisms and the barbed remarks?


    if you’re not then whoever gave you such terrible advice should be shot. Or better still, totally ignored.

  • David when I read your blog yesterday I was dumbfounded. I couldn’t think that anyone would suggest this to you. Today I went to another site I visit regularly and thought to myself this is a person who shouldn’t stray from the topic of the blog/site. It is such an informative site but when s/he strays from the topic it is woeful and makes me cringe.

    Your site never does this it is always great fun to pop in and see what you are up to, so please keep on meandering around and let us enjoy ourselves if only in a very voyeuristic way! Mille merci!

  • Your bleaders have spoken (no typo). If I didn’t want stories, I’d stare blankly at Epicurious recipes. You can do the Paris living for me while I’m eating scotcheroos in CT for you. We all need each other…and your writing is one of the highlights of my week.

  • this change is not welcomed!! don’t do it!

  • I ‘ve never posted before but just wanted to agree with the chorus. I had never really wanted to go to Paris before stumbling upon your blog and now I can’t wait to get there. Your ramblings bring the city to life and make me appreciate there is a place where there is not a Starbucks on every corner. Please don’t change anything in your blog.

  • Please don’t stop talking about Paris =/

  • I suppose you’ve got enough complaints (or perhaps I should call them “anti-complaints”), but I’ll just add mine to the lot: keep on with random subject, France, food-related stories (even when not accompanied by recipes) et al. Please :)

  • I love your blog FOR the amusing stories! The recipes are of course also fabulous and beautifully indexed for those joyless types who just want recipes. I have some of your poached quinces simmering away on the stove at this very minute.

  • PLEASE don’t stop writing about Paris! your recipes are fab but it’s the stories about everyday life in Paris that keep me coming back to your blog.

  • Funny guy….. ;-)

    Very funny………

  • The thing that’s funny about typos is, while I detest their very presence as well, a misplaced apostrophe or comma isn’t as bad a recipe typo. A friend of mine had a baking book come out and one cake recipe called for 22 cups of flour, instead of 2 cups. I doubt anyone at home has a pan that big~

    And I once saw a recipe for biscotti in a book that called for 1/2 cup baking powder. Now that would be quite the explosion!

  • hmm, I would’ve thought you’d be the type of person to just ignore such “advice” and tell that special someone to just go play in the traffic. So I’m guessing this is some kind of joke. And a very cruel one at that, David. Your readers read you for what you write and who you are.
    And, jeez, I’d like to see the person so perfect he/she never makes any kind of mistake. And I think mistakes make for some very interesting living at times.
    Oh, I’m rambling…

  • Hopefully you were just wondering why readers read your blog. Well, now you know. Keep the stories coming. And the recipes of course. But lots of stories. Cookbooks get to the recipe — blogs can and IMHO should do other things. But you already know that from all the other comments.

  • Ok i am the nth person to say this, but dismiss that advice. And dole out the ramblings.

  • Please don’t follow that “advice”! We love your posts the way they are, cher David …

  • Please don’t change what you post about. I really enjoy reading about your everyday life experiences in Paris as much as I do about your food writings. Continued success.


  • Perhaps you should skip all the brilliantly written (f**k typos), amusing, informative, spot-on, human and purely fascinating musings and just send out recipes after all.
    That way I walk away from this website and get on with my life, clean my house, earn a living, go to church, whatever. I shouldn’t eat sweets anyway.

  • You are a tease…just trying to outdo the number of comments you got on the “all clad” give-away, aren’t you? Come on …confess! Pity the poor person who commented on the typo – he really just needs a life. Love your blog the way it is – please don’t change a thing.

  • Who is this enormous tosser with the typo obsession? Your stories absolutely make the blog. I love your humor and your cheek, so give that reader a virtual middle finger and Don’t! Change a Thing.

  • Man, I love your blog because it is what it is, because you write the way you write, and because your recipes are awesome, of course!
    So, please don’t listen to the jealous, ridiculous people out there.
    We do want to listen to all you have to say and we are happy reading it!! If they don’t want to read then go to a different blog, right?!
    Your blog is really nice David!

  • David: That 22 cups of flour recipe reminds me of something that happened in Sweden last autumn. One of the country’s major food magazines featured a recipe for apple cake that called for 20 whole nutmegs. (The correct amount was meant to be 2 nutmegs (something which btw also sounds a lot to me.)) The most surprising thing regarding it all, was that some of their readers actually did make this 20 nutmeg cake, and, needless to say, they got poisoned from it.

    The food magazine therefore had to withdraw all the copies from the market, in fear of even more people following this recipe and getting poisoned.

  • No, you cannot get off that easily!
    Your readers love your voice and dream of living your life.
    Well, we can make your recipes but perhaps not everyone can run off to Paris when they grow up:)

  • Does this have anything to do with reviews of your book and/or advice from your publisher? I’ve read reviews of other bloggers’ books that compared the book to the blog. It didn’t stop me from reading online or buying the published book. You just keep doing what you’re doing. Both are entertaining, informative and valuable to us all. Typo’s anywhere be damned, it’s about content..not typing.

  • I sincerely hope you are joking. Yours is the only food blog I read regularly and though the recipes are great, that’s not why I keep coming back.

  • I was falling asleep during a tv program with that guy who eats the weird food when all of the sudden there YOU were. I kind of woke/jumped up and said “Hey, I know him!” Then I had to explain I only “know” you through your blog. But it feels like I know you because of all your quirky happenstances. And I’m still laughing about the two egg yolks trolling around your freezer.

    It kind of looks like a consensus. BE WHO YOU BE!

  • That advice was TERRIBLE!!!!!!! Do not stop writing about life because food without experiences to color it is just food! Your stories are what makes this blog so unique (and well, the yummy recipes too, but the stories, the stories!). Seriously, when I get emails about typos, I just think “wow, that person – presumably one who never makes mistakes him/herself – has nothing better to do than notice 1 typo, open up their email and spend 5 minutes on a nasty email to me about this 1 typo… well… if it makes them feel better about themselves! I’ll just go have a piece of chocolate cake now to wash out the negativity. DELETE.” My husband, however, encourages me to write back with an email full of typos and misplaced capital letters and punctuation marks, just to drive them crazy. Ooh, he is truly evil, that one! :) Seriously, just keep doing what is true to yourself and don’t let anyone else tell you otherwise!

  • David, the stories are what make you special! Don’t stop telling them. I love hearing about your life in Paris.

  • I heart the stories on this blog. Don’t lose them!

  • I hope you haven’t been taking any other advice from Mr / Mrs (or M. / Mlle?) ‘cut to the chase and just do food’ I shudder to think what you might be wearing and where you might be holidaying if so (though I am sure Guantanamo IS lovely and warm).

  • Non, Non, Non!!!!!!! …but it is the diversions into realms other than food that makes your blog so fun and interesting, how could anyone advise you to stop doing something you very obviously do so well….bring back the stories and non-foodie comments…oh pleazzzzzzze! Thanks, Patricia

  • I doubt very much if you will read down this far but, if so, let me add my voice to the chorus of people who think you should go on writing as you always have. If someone doesn’t like it, they can surf away to some other site. Those of us who enjoy vicariously your experiences in Paris would be sad to see only recipes on this blog. Do your own thing and enjoy it! We do.

  • wow this looks interesting. I am very excited to try this out!

  • Who the heck is giving you such crappy advice? So many of your readers turn to your blog because it is about more than just the recipes. A great recipe is a find. A story to go with it and the occasional ramble down other, non-food paths, written in funny prose, is a gem. Please don’t change.

  • I object to “just recipes”, whoever gave you that advice is not to be listened to at all! And i see i’m not the only one saying that. Don’t change, love your recipes AND stories!!! :)

  • Tone: That’s almost funny (except for the part about people getting sick…) I recall someone I knew did a recipe for a big American food magazine that used 1/4 teaspoon wintergreen oil which I guess is toxic. When the magazine realized it, they sent stickers with a new ingredient list to subscribers, using wintergreen extract to replace the wintergreen oil.

  • Well, my advice is to smack those people over the head with a stale baguette.
    Now whose advice sounds more desirable? >:D

  • I had my first major recipe typo occur on my blog this week, and I was completely mortified! Well, once I finally recognized I had made the typo that is, which took a while, because apparently I can be dense at times.

    One of my very sweet readers toiled over the mistyped recipe trying to make it work, and I felt so bad that I still want to find a way to make it up to him, even though everything turned out fine in the end. Presenting recipes, it seems, is a big responsibility.

    My respect and appreciation for you, and every recipe writer who has been doing this for years, has just deepened considerably. I never considered the ramifications of sharing my simple culinary creations with the world. Clearly, the task is not to be taken lightly.

    You must have an excellent technique for brushing it off and powering on, as you seem to get a steady dose of flack from the unrelenting peanut gallery. Either that, or you have a tear-stained keyboard, and none of us realize it. ; )

    You continue to be my hero, David. That is, unless you stop writing stories. Don’t ever stop sharing your stories!!!


    ~ Paula

  • NOOOOOOO!!! I like the recipes but I love the stories so please don’t stop!

  • What? Who are these people?? If they only came for the recipe, it’s not that hard to scroll down the post and look for it, especially considering you highlight it! This isn’t just a food blog, this is a cooking and eating in Paris kind of blog, and if you cut out the “in Paris” part, well, where would the fun be in that? I love hearing your stories of everyday life in Paris, I find some solace in knowing that I’m not the only one who smiles or shakes my head at the crazy things that happen here.

  • Surely you jest…..I want to hear what EVER is on your mind. Love your blog just the way it is….it’s insightful, informative….and very funny.

  • Recipes alone don’t usually make me laugh out loud, which I quite enjoy doing. Except for when I have a cold. Then it just makes me cough. Stories about chasing baguettes, with or without a recipe, make me laugh out loud. So you should keep telling them.

  • Hallucinant! – like the french would say (both for the absinthe & the ice cream).

  • David,

    As many have said above, your commentary and stories are what make this blog unique and one of my regular morning stops. Please don’t change a thing!

  • I loveee alcoholic flavored ice creams! And my boyfriend loves absinthe – we need to make this! Thanks David! P.S. Have you ever had Bailey’s ice cream? It is divine…send us a recipe for homemade! :)

  • Dear David
    You have to write more about all the stuff people are telling you not to write!!! I love reading them, about the French, your funny encounters, daily things…I really enjoy reading them…I went to your book signing today, he he i was the asian girl from Indonesia… :) thank you for a great night David!
    Please keep writing blogs that you feel like writing, regardless..after all you have a great number of followers…and fans!

  • Oh please don’t stop writing about Paris! I’m absolutely missing Paris so much and reading your blogs makes me want to go back there. And besides, what’s a blog without adding life into it? Whoever gave you that advice is absolutely ridiculous.

    By the way, absinthe ice cream does sound interesting. I can just imagine the taste and how the absinthe will be kicking in as you swallow a bite. I’m excited. I wonder if I can test it out in our restaurant…

  • Seriously, Your recipes are great, but seriously its your zest for life that keeps me coming back. I have plenty of books with even more recipes. It’s a BLOG for crissakes.

  • I love all of the things you write about and would be disappointed if you took any of that ridiculous advice too seriously. Thank goodness your tongue knows what to do even when your hands are tied.

  • Pretty please don’t skip the stories!

  • How come there is no mention of Absinthe in the gorgeous “Scooped” article in Fine Cooking (June/July 2009)? (Absinthe/Licorice perhaps? or Absinthe Lavender?)
    It looks completely delish. My faves (in order) Whisky Gingerbread, Double Vanilla Bourbon, Armagnac Prune. Now I just have to stop fantasizing about how good they taste and make them!

  • Who’s the sad bastard telling you to stick to the recipes? Stop withholding your stories–don’t punish us to make your point against them!

  • Don’t stop with the stories. I love hearing about how wacky France is.

  • I know I am a little late in commenting, but keep the stories coming (both food and non-food related). They’re hilarious!

  • Love yer blog. Surfed on in through google with a question about the article on ice cream which appears in ‘Fine Cooking.’ In all the years I have made ice cream, when I add the basic recipe to the freezer, the manufacturer’s instructions tell you to fill to the line with milk (depends on the freezer). I have two teenage sons and you can just imagine how much ice cream I go through! So, for a four quart freezer, do you recommend doubling the custard? I don’t mind making two batches; just want to make sure amounts are consistent in texture and not flat tasting when I go to freeze them.


    PS. I never did get to France…drove near Alsace and was stunned by that countryside. So truly lovely.

  • Hi Carolyn: You can double any of my ice cream custard recipes, but just remember that some machines require freezing the canister 24 hours before churning a batch (unless you have a self-refrigerating machine). So if you have to churn two batches in that kind of machine, follow the manufacturer’s advice (and mine) about letting it freeze rock-solid.

  • Holy crap is that ice cream good. I made it with 4 tbsp of absinthe, and it’s crazy tasty. I didn’t realize quite how well the absinthe and chocolate would go together.


  • Hi David,
    My friend is inviting me to her Mad Tea party, I wanted to do Absinthe but can’t justify a huge bottle, instead going with chartreuse liqueur, would the chocolate bits still work? (hmm really need to untie those hands of yours….!) Thanks!

    Yes, you certainly could add Chartreuse in lieu of abstinthe. I love Chartreuse and the chocolate chips would be super with it. -dl

  • Thank David!
    I did the chartreuse recipe in your book… came out a bit more icy that I would have liked…however I love the chartreuse + sour cream flavor…can I substitute the whole milk with heavy cream and add the 5 yolks to give it a smoother creamier texture? Thanks..
    Oh the dark chocolate.. very nice touch.. had to restrain… hmm must tie my own hands now…

  • Dear David,

    I read your article about absinthe and ice cream and it looks absolutely delicious. I have just gone down to the store to try making this with our Obsello as it will be something special for some guests at a dinner party. Thank you for sharing this delightful recipe. If you ever want to talk absinthe would you give our distillery or distiller a ring. Our contact is linked below on our site!

    Obsello Absinthe

  • I think I’ll have to make this soon. Herbal liqueurs are my favorite. I recently made a similar recipe but used Grand Marnier, and orange blossom water, and orange zest in place of the absinthe. It was the exact creamy orange and chocolate ice cream I’ve been craving for years! Thanks for all the inspiration.