Inspired by the most amazing ice cold glass of root beer during the afternoon post-lunch slump of a photo shoot (thanks Sam!), this float takes the ice-cream shop treat to a whole new level. incredibly smooth homemade bourbon ice cream, sweet bubbly root beer, and an extra splash of Maker’s Mark combine to make this easy dessert something you’ll be craving any time of the year… but this amazing NY weather is an even better excuse to make some ice cream!
Adapted from David Lebowitz’s recipe for Fine Cooking
Bourbon Ice Cream
2 cups heavy cream
1 cup whole milk
3/4 cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
3 to 4 Tablespoons bourbon
In a medium saucepan, mix 1 cup of the cream with the milk, sugar, and a pinch of salt. Warm the cream mixture over medium-high heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar dissolves and tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 3 to 4 minutes.
Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with several inches of ice water. Set a smaller metal bowl (one that holds at least 1-1/2 quarts) in the ice water. Pour the remaining cup of cream into the inner bowl (this helps the custard cool quicker when you pour it in later). Set a fine strainer on top. Whisk the egg yolks in a medium bowl.
Rewarm the cream mixture over medium-high heat until tiny bubbles begin to form around the edge of the pan, 1 to 2 minutes. In a steady stream, pour half of the warm cream mixture into the egg yolks, whisking constantly to prevent the eggs from curdling.
Pour the egg mixture back into the saucepan and cook over low heat, stirring constantly and scraping the bottom with a heatproof rubber spatula until the custard thickens slightly (it should be thick enough to coat the spatula and hold a line drawn through it with a finger), 4 to 8 minutes. Immediately strain the custard into the cold cream in the ice bath.
Cool the custard stirring it over the ice bath. Stir the bourbon into the cooled custard.
Refrigerate the custard until completely chilled, at least 4 hours. Then freeze the custard in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Transfer the just-churned ice cream to an air-tight container, and freeze for at least 4 hours or up to 2 weeks.
To assemble the float, pour 2 ounces of bourbon into a tall glass. Add 2 scoops of bourbon ice cream, and top off with your favorite root beer. Enjoy!