It's Friday afternoon, you've made it through the long week, and it's time for Happy Hour, Gizmodo's weekly booze column. A cocktail shaker full of innovation, science, and alcohol. Boo yah, let's get drunk.
Alcohol flavored ice creams are abundant: Bailey's, Guinness, Jack Daniels, Rum Raisin—they're everywhere. But none of them have any kick. Why? Because alcohol's freezing point is waaaaay lower than water's, which means that it's damn near impossible to get boozy ice cream to retain that lovely, semi-solid form we so adore. So there's no booze in them, which is STUPID.
Thank god for Valerie Lum and Jenise Addison, who figured out how to stabilize the alcohol using gelatin (look away, vegetarians). After countless nights of trial and error these two awesome women who should win Nobel Prizes have come up with a system that will allow you to incorporate a cup of 80 proof booze into a quart of ice cream. That nets ice cream that's approximately 13-percent alcohol by volume. Not bad! The duo came up with 50 recipes for boozy ice creams and sorbets in their book Ice Cream Happy Hour. We quite enjoyed making the frozen White Russian in the video above; here's what you'll need to make it at home:
• 1/2 cup milk
• 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 4 egg yolks
• 1 packet (1 tablespoon) gelatin
• 1/4 cup cold water
• 2/3 cup cold (refrigerated) vodka
• 2/3 cup cold (refrigerated) Kahlúa
Oh, and here are a few important notes that didn't make it into the video:
• You want to scald the milk/cream/sugar mixture, not boil or simmer it. Overheating the milk may cause curdling.
• The reason for the tempering is that if you add the eggs to the hot milk too quickly they can cook, which would give you chunks of egg yolks in your ice cream. No bueno.
• Once the custard is made, you have to let it cool and set in the refrigerator for about 8 hours. Patience, my friend (or advanced planning, at the very least).
• The strainer is important, especially when you're transferring the booze/gelatin mix into the custard. Ideally, it won't have solidified much, but there will almost certainly be some very strong-tasting chunks that you don't want to end up in your ice cream.
• This stuff is ready to eat straight out of the ice cream maker, but if you want it to be a little firmer, then you can put it in the freezer for a bit, as in the video.
• You do not need some super expensive ice cream maker to do this. You can get the Cuisinart you see in the video for less than $70 on Amazon.
So that's it! Tune in to Happy Hour next Friday at 5pm EST, when I'll be showing you how to make a ridiculously potent topping for the ridiculously potent ice cream you just made. And for more ice-cream-that'll-fuck-you-up recipes, check out the book: Ice Cream Happy Hour. Only $11 at Amazon and Barnes & Noble (ebook versions, too)! You can also peep their Facebook page.
Note: The nacent moustache you see in the video is for Movember. Yes, it looks creepy, but it's for a good cause. Glorious Leader Joe Brown is growing one, too, and is under the impression that his is better than mine (lies!). You can sponsor his or mine to raise money for prostate cancer research, if you so desire.
UPDATE: JOE'S MUSTACHE IS SUPERIOR.
You can keep up with Brent Rose, the author of this post, on Facebook, Google+ or Twitter.