Give your summer dessert a sophisticated twist with this delicious, boozy old fashioned bourbon and ANGOSTURA® orange bitters ice cream recipe. This rich, creamy ice cream features the subtly complex aromatics of ANGOSTURA® orange bitters, while ripples of bourbon and orange pack a flavoursome punch.
This recipe has been made in collaboration with ANGOSTURA® bitters, although all thoughts and opinions are our own. Thank you for supporting the brands that make it possible for me to do what I love: mess up our kitchen and share recipe stories.
Summertime means ice cream!
One of my favourite things about the summer is the ice cream. There’s nothing quite like a bowlful or waffle cone filled with your favourite scoops to cool you down on these humid, sweltering days. Sun optional.
I do like getting creative with my ice cream flavours. There’s always a place for a traditional chocolate or vanilla scoop in my life, but I prefer the out of the ordinary. The American cherry pies. The rum and raisins. The mint chocolate chip cookie doughs.
This summer, I’ve been experimenting with ice cream flavours. I’ve teamed up with ANGOSTURA® bitters to bring you a collection of ice cream recipes featuring their range of bitters.
First up, I’ve recreated the classic Old Fashioned cocktail in ice cream form using ANGOSTURA® orange bitters.
The classic ‘old fashioned’ cocktail is made by muddling sugar with ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters and water. The old fashioned cocktail glass is filled with ice before adding bourbon whiskey and garnishing with orange and a cocktail cherry.
The old fashioned cocktail dates back to 1806 when it was called a whiskey cocktail, but after the recipe underwent many transformations, bar-goers started requesting that it be made in the old-fashioned way, and the name stuck.
A key ingredient in the old fashioned is ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters, but it’s just as good, if not better if ANGOSTURA® orange bitters are used.
ANGOSTURA® orange bitters also pair well with creamy ingredients, including ice cream, so I was inspired to recreate the classic old-fashioned bourbon and orange cocktail in ice cream form.
A sophisticated summertime dessert at its finest, don’t you think.
This custard base for this easy-to-make ice cream is deliciously refreshing and is flavoured simply with the subtly complex aromatics of ANGOSTURA® orange bitters.
Each spoonful of ice cream is punctuated with zesty bourbon and orange ripples made with fresh orange juice, bourbon and a good dash of ANGOSTURA® orange bitters.
ANGOSTURA® bitters – not just for cocktails!
What are ANGOSTURA® bitters?
Gentian (not angostura bark) is the main ingredient in ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters. This is combined with a secret blend of aromatic spices to create a versatile ingredient with wonderful layers of flavour.
ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters began in the town Angostura, Venezuela, in 1824 when founder Dr Johann Siegert created a medicinal tincture for soldier’s stomach ailments. By the 1870s, these aromatic bitters had become an integral ingredient in cocktails and food.
What are Angostura orange bitters?
Launched in 2007, ANGOSTURA® orange bitters were the first innovation from ANGOSTURA® in over 200 years.
The marriage of citrus oils from hand-selected oranges, carefully blended herbs and spices and nearly 200 years of knowledge, ANGOSTURA® orange bitters bring a unique orange flavour to any recipe they are used in. They won the Platinum Medal at the prestigious SIP Awards in 2018.
They contain none of the ingredients found in the original ANGOSTURA® aromatic bitters.
What can you do with ANGOSTURA® orange bitters?
ANGOSTURA® orange bitters are a versatile culinary ingredient used as a substitute for orange zest in all food and drink recipes, including ice cream.
Use them in orange coconut rice, in a honey drizzle for crostini with cheese or in fiesta meatballs with ancho dipping sauce. They make a wicked creme caramel for a classy dessert, will take your pumpkin pie to the next level and can even be added to maple syrup as a topping for decadent French toast.
They’re also an essential component for a classic martini. Download the official ANGOSTURA® Cocktail Recipe App for more cocktail inspiration.
Meantime… why not try them in some ice cream…
What you’ll need…
- Egg yolks – these are used for thickening the custard base and they give the finished ice cream a rich, creamy consistency. Make sure you pick yolks with a vibrant golden colour as this also affects the colour of the ice cream.
- Caster sugar – for sweetness. Not too much though, there’s just the right amount to offset the tangy bourbon orange ribbons.
- Full fat milk – this is an indulgent summertime dessert we’re making here so it’s full fat all the way. Milk fat adds creamy richness to the recipe.
- Heavy cream – the high fat content in the cream coats the ice crystals in the ice cream, resulting in a smooth creamy textured dessert.
- Orange juice – freshly squeezed, smooth or with bits, it’s up to you. This forms the base of the bourbon orange ripples.
- Bourbon whiskey – a good measure. This adds a traditional Old Fashioned boozy pop of flavour and also inhibits the freezing process of the orange ripples so they remain softer.
- Salt – this too lowers the freezing temperature of the orange ripples. I used smoke sea salt for extra flavour.
- Cornflour – thickens the bourbon and orange mixture to make the perfect ripples.
- ANGOSTURA® orange bitters – a versatile culinary ingredient that can be used as a substitute for orange zest in all food and drink recipes, ice cream included. This complex blend of tropical oranges and spices pairs perfectly with whiskey.
- Orange zest – for garnishing the ice cream. Serve your ice cream in tumblers with a curl of orange draped elegantly over the side of the glass.
How to make it…
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First, make the ANGOSTURA® orange bitters custard base…
Next, make the bourbon and orange ripples…
Then bring them both together…
Tips for making this ice cream
- Use good quality free-range egg yolks which are a rich, orange colour. The colour of the egg yolks will affect the finished colour of the ice cream base itself, so the more golden your yolk, the more colour will be in the ice cream.
- Wait until the custard mix has cooled slightly before adding the ANGOSTURA® orange bitters. If you add it too soon the mixture could curdle. This won’t affect the flavour of the ice cream, but it could affect the texture.
- Ensure the container you’re going to assemble your ice cream layers in is chilled. If you use a room temperature container the ice cream will start to melt before you’re done.
- Same goes for the glass tumblers for serving. Chill these in advance too.
- Allow the ice cream to soften slightly before scooping. It’ll be quite hard straight out of the freezer – let it sit for 5-10 minutes or so to soften first.
- If you’ve got leftover bourbon and orange sauce save it to serve as a sauce over the top of your ice cream.
Quick & easy bourbon and ANGOSTURA® orange ice cream recipe
Omit the orange juice and add two tablespoonfuls of bourbon and the ANGOSTURA® orange bitters straight to the custard ice cream base, once it’s cooled. Churn in your ice cream machine as per the manufacturer’s instructions.
Alternatively, make the bourbon and orange sauce, allow to cool, and serve as a sauce on top of a scoop of the ANGOSTURA® orange bitters ice cream.
How do you make a curled orange peel spiral garnish?
Hold the orange firmly in your hand and using a sharp knife, cut a thin slice of the orange peel, taking care not to get too much of the white pith. Wrap the slice of peel around a wooden spoon handle until needed.
Where do I find ANGOSTURA® bitters?
ANGOSTURA® bitters are stocked in all good wine shops. You can also find them online on Amazon.
Old fashioned bourbon and orange ice cream recipe
for the ANGOSTURA® orange bitters ice cream base
This recipe card may contain affiliate ingredient and equipment links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
- Pour the full-fat milk into a small saucepan and slowly bring it to just before the boiling point – between 180-185 °F (82-85 °C).300 ml full fat milk
- Meanwhile, in a small bowl, whisk together the egg yolks and caster sugar until they are light, pale and drop from the whisk in ribbons.3 large free-range egg yolks, 75 grams caster sugar
- While whisking, pour the hot milk over the beaten egg yolks and sugar. Continue to whisk until combined.
- Return the custard mixture to medium heat and constantly stir with a wooden spoon until thickened. Do not let the temperature exceed 165 °F/74 °C A finger drawn through the custard on the back of the spoon will leave a line when it's ready. Take care not to allow the custard to boil.
- Leave the mixture to cool before adding the ANGOSTURA® orange bitters.1 tsp ANGOSTURA® orange bitters
- Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours before adding the heavy cream.300 ml double cream
for the bourbon and orange ripples
- Heat the orange juice, caster sugar and salt in a small saucepan until it begins to simmer. The sugar will be dissolved by this time.100 ml orange juice, 50 grams caster sugar, 1 pinch Shetland sea salt
- Thicken the mixture with the cornflour dissolved in a little water.3 tsp cornflour
- Pour in the bourbon and a few dashes of ANGOSTURA® orange bitters. Mix well and chill.25 ml bourbon whiskey, dash ANGOSTURA® orange bitters
- Churn the ice cream base in your ice cream maker as per the manufacturer's instructions.
- Spoon half the soft-scoop ice cream into a chilled 1 lb loaf tin and drizzle with half the bourbon and orange sauce.
- Repeat, finishing with the remaining bourbon and orange sauce (see notes).
- Using a knife, swirl together the four layers.
- Garnish with orange zest, if desired, and freeze until solid.