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
Print Recipe
About 1 quart 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)

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  • Marisa
    May 19, 2009 12:15am

    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.

  • May 19, 2009 5:49am

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

  • Claire
    May 19, 2009 10:20am


    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!

  • May 19, 2009 12:11pm

    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! :)

  • May 19, 2009 4:26pm

    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!

  • May 19, 2009 5:24pm

    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…

  • Arturo
    May 19, 2009 10:36pm

    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.

  • May 20, 2009 1:49pm

    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.

  • May 21, 2009 11:16am

    Pretty please don’t skip the stories!

  • Adell
    May 21, 2009 12:30pm

    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!

  • Melissa
    May 22, 2009 11:52am

    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!

  • Stephanie
    May 25, 2009 5:56pm

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

  • Alexis
    May 27, 2009 4:32pm

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

  • Carolyn
    June 1, 2009 7:52pm

    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.

  • June 2, 2009 3:27am

    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.

  • June 6, 2009 12:48am

    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.


  • Ed T
    August 6, 2009 3:23am

    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

  • Ed T
    August 7, 2009 3:59pm

    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…

  • September 8, 2009 3:43pm

    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

  • Laura
    February 14, 2010 8:36pm

    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.