a bit o’ Irish!

St. Patrick’s Day is just around the corner, and I wanted a new dessert to celebrate the wearing’ o’ the green. I muddled around green, and Irish, decided to go with Irish … whisky! Everyone likes ice cream, yes, indeed they do! Me too! Or, gelato! a bit more flavor, a little less air! Here’s my newest Irish inspiration.

Irish whisky gelato


  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 1/2  cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon corn syrup
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla powder
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Irish whisky
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 1 recipe Irish whisky caramel (recipe follows)


In a small saucepan, bring cream, sugar, corn syrup, salt and vanilla powder to a boil; remove from heat. Let cool to room temperature, then stir in the Irish whisky and buttermilk. Refrigerate for at least 6 hours or until well chilled.

Freeze in an ice-cream maker, following manufacturer’s instructions.

Makes about 4 cups.

Irish whisky caramel

  • ½ cup firmly packed brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon Kosher salt
  • *1 to 1 ½ cups heavy cream (1 cup will make a spreadable sauce, 1 ½ cups will make a pourable sauce)
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into ½ inch pieces
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons Irish whisky

In a 10-inch light colored skillet, put enough water in the bottom just to coat. Add the brown sugar,  and salt, smoothing the mixture with your fingers to be sure the sugar is hydrated. Place a lid over the pan and cook over medium-high heat, until the sugar melts and begins to darken around the edges, about 3 minutes.

Remove the lid, and continue to cook until you have small bubbles over the entire surface of the liquid. Slowly whisk in the cream (some sugar will seize) and simmer, whisking occasionally, until smooth and thick enough that the whisk leaves the bottom of the pan visible, 7 to 9 minutes.

Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, one piece at a time. Allow mixture to cool, then whisk in the whisky, to taste.

In the unlikely event you have any leftover, store it in an airtight container in the refrigerator. Makes about 1-1 1/2 cups caramel.

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