Mint Julep Ice Cream
Mint Julep Ice Cream

Enjoy this southern classic, the mint julep, in its ice cream form. Homemade ice cream flavored with fresh mint, vanilla and bourbon.

Please welcome guest author Garrett McCord as we prepare for Derby Day with mint julep ice cream. Garrett and I did this the other day and my dad still gets foggy eyes when he thinks about how good it was. ~ Elise

I was too young to drink bourbon at the time, but a tall glass of dark, sweet tea with a handful of mint at the bottom was always handy. It was a refreshing way to ward off the suffocating dampness and made the fun times more enjoyable.

Mint juleps — a drink based on mint, sugar, water, and good old Kentucky bourbon — has that same sweet-minty chilling quality. They bring me back to that shady, carefree vacation.

It’s a cocktail that seems to combine the sweetness of breezy bluegrass country and the excitement of the Kentucky Derby in one.

At a recent dinner, I was unexpectedly thrown down Memory Lane when I tried this mint julep ice cream. The cool mint and slightly spicy bourbon took me back to those summer nights sitting on the river docks with my family.

This recipe comes from Sacramento pastry chef extraordinaire Elaine Baker, who creates desserts.

Mint Julep Ice Cream

total time
0 minutes

1 quarter


  • 2 ounces mint leaves (spearmint)

  • 1 1/2 cups milk

  • 1 1/2 cups heavy cream

  • 6 egg yolks, whisked

  • 3/4 cup sugar

  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup bourbon

  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract


  1. Infuse mint in hot cream:

    Mash the leaves with a wooden spoon to release their essential oils and flavors. Place them in a saucepan with the milk and 3/4 cup of the heavy cream. Bring to a simmer, then remove from heat and leave covered for 30 minutes.

  2. Sieve over bowl of cream, prepare over ice bath:

    Fill a large bowl with ice water and set another bowl with the remaining cream in it over the cream using a fine-mesh strainer. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg yolks.

  3. Strain mint cream, add sugar, salt, then heat until steaming:

    Pour the soaked cream mixture through a sieve and toss in the mint leaves. Pour the milk and cream mixture back into the saucepan and add the sugar and salt. Place over medium-high heat and heat until steaming (not boiling).

  4. Temper eggs, back to milk mixture:

    Slowly pour some of the heated milk mixture into the yolks, beating constantly so the yolks are tempered by the heated milk, but not cooked. Pour the egg yolk mixture back into the saucepan.

  5. Heat until thick:

    Stir the mixture over medium-high heat with a wooden spoon, constantly scraping the bottom of the pan. As the mixture thickens and covers the back of the spoon, you can run your finger over the coating without the coating running. This can take anywhere from 3 to 10 minutes depending on the heat of your burner.

  6. Pass through a sieve, add bourbon and vanilla, chill:

    Pour the mixture through the sieve into the chilled cream bowl. Mix in the bourbon and vanilla. Cover and refrigerate until mixture has cooled, 6 hours to overnight.

  7. Processing in the ice cream machine:

    Process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions.

  8. Store in the freezer:

    Before serving, store ice cream in an airtight container in the freezer for several hours to give the mixture a little hardening. The ice cream is quite soft right out of the ice cream maker and needs some hardening to get the right ice cream consistency. If you leave it in the freezer for too long, just let it sit for a few minutes before serving.

    *Note: There is no substitute for the bourbon in this recipe. Otherwise, it’s not a mint julep. However, you can make plain mint ice cream if you don’t want to use alcohol. Check out the mint chocolate chip recipe on the website.

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Hello everybody, Even if you're limited on time and money, I believe you can prepare wonderful food with everyday products. All you have to do is cook cleverly and creatively!