Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon

Cool creamy Chocolate Gelato is made heavenly with the addition of Bourbon and Chocolate Chips!

Sicilian Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and Chocolate Chips in a Waffle Cone

Ice cream for a Friday Cocktail? OK, maybe I’m stretching it just a bit but this Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and  Chocolate Chips ice cream, unlike the Blueberry and Basil Martini pops I did recently, offers up bourbon in a most evident way so of course I thought it absolutely appropriate!

This started innocently enough; I saw the Twitter account for Scharffenberger Chocolate tweet something about ice cream so I asked if they had a link for some on their site. Included in a list of ice creams was one for a Sicilian chocolate gelato.

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Using milk instead of heavy cream was appealing; as much as I’m loving the whole ice cream thing…I’m thinking I had better find a lot of sorbets and gelatos to satisfy my urge to create or I won’t be able to waddle into the kitchen!

Their recipe was very straightforward; milk, sugar, cocoa and then some corn starch to thicken the mixture before putting it through the paces to turn it into ice cream. Easy enough, right? Well, not quite so fast there pardner…nothing is ever THAT easy.

Sicilian Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and Dark Chocolate Chips

First, I didn’t have enough cocoa left in the Scharffenberger tin that was in my cupboard; drat, this was going to require a shopping trip? Luckily I spied a bag of cocoa I had forgotten that I had purchased from my local Savory Spice Shop.

Their stock offered a cocoa that was not ‘Dutch processed’ and as I discovered in reading that almost empty tin, Scharffenberger does not process their cocoa either; maybe that is why I love it so much.

Dutch processed chocolate has been treated with an alkali to neutralize its natural acidity. I like that the flavor of the unprocessed cocoa is more bittersweet so in that realm I was still good to go.

Second? I can never leave something alone. I love the Jack Daniels Chocolate, Chocolate Chip from Liks, a local ice cream shop. Though I’ve tried, the owner won’t part with his recipe and I get that…but it didn’t stop me from wanting to make it myself hence my own boozy Chocolate Gelato!

No problem for me to quickly sub the Jack with my favorite bourbon, Maker’s Mark.

I also remembered that I had a stash of amazing Hotel Chocolat chocolates from a giveaway on my friend Ken’s blog at Hungry Rabbit NYC  – so with my cocoa in hand, booze at the ready and my chocolate bar chopped into shards, I was ready to roll.

Although I was re-creating something that was most definitely ice cream, I was so looking forward to trying the Sicilian gelato recipe; using 1% milk instead of heavy cream. If it was satisfying that would be an exciting twist in my ice cream journey that has just started.

I admit, I did add just a bit of half and half to up the cream factor a bit and the resulting ice cream/gelato/cocktail that was born was perfect.

Sicilian Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and Chocolate Chips

I had asked neighbors over to be my ‘testers.’ I actually offered them a smorgasboard of frozen treats. We started with this bing cherry sorbet with cava, moved on to Blueberry Basil Martini popsicles and then the ‘best for last’ was this  Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and Dark Chocolate Chips. Yes…it was fun!

How did the gelato go over? The richness from the chocolate combined with the bourbon and chocolate chips made for a completely swoonworthy treat…it might be called gelato but my company just called it amazing!

By the way, you know this is a blog where I take photos of REAL food right? So this is the real deal…real ice cream that will become melting ice cream within minutes. No Crisco or other faux blends that make taking photos easier but are inedible. So yes, you really can lick the screen!

PIN IT! ‘Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and Chocolate Chips’

Cone of Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and Chocolate Chunks
Two Scoops of Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and Chocolate Chunks

Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and Chocolate Shards

Sicilian gelato is light and refreshing yet with good ingredients it's also a very satisfyingly rich dessert. Add bourbon and chocolate and it's elevated to divine!
5 average from less than 50 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 8 minutes
Inactive Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 18 minutes
Course Ice Cream
Cuisine American
Servings 4 Servings
Calories 440 kcal


  • 3 cups whole milk
  • ¼ cup half and half
  • cup granulated sugar
  • ¾ cup Unsweetened Natural Cocoa Powder
  • 1 ½ tablespoons cornstarch
  • ¼ cup bourbon
  • ¼ – ½ cup chocolate chopped, or chocolate chips


  • In medium saucepan bring 2 cups of the milk to a simmer.
  • Combine the sugar, cocoa, and cornstarch into a bowl and whisk in the remaining cup of milk and half and half.
  • Scrape the cocoa mixture into the hot milk. Cook, stirring constantly until the mixture thickens and bubbles a little at the edges.
  • Stir and cook for 2 minutes longer.
  • Remove from heat and stir in the bourbon with a whisk.
  • Pour the mixture into a clean bowl and cover the surface of the mixture with plastic wrap. Chill without stirring until very cold to the touch. (I put mine into the freezer for about 45 minutes to speed it up a bit).
  • Freeze according to the instructions with your ice cream maker. Because the mixture is thick to begin with it may take less time than average in your ice cream maker.
  • Add chocolate chips and just mix in.
  • Put mixture into container and freeze for at least 4 hours before serving.


If you don’t have an ice cream maker, you can make an icy granita or fudge pops with the same recipe.


Nutrition Facts
Chocolate Gelato with Bourbon and Chocolate Shards
Serving Size
1 Serving
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Keyword chocolate, dessert, gelato, ice cream, italian
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

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    1. It really is and this tastes so rich and creamy you would never know it wasn’t made with whipping cream. The secret must be the bourbon right? 🙂

  1. Great recipe. I substituted Calvados for the bourbon (and will try Grand Marnier next), and added the chocolate like you’d make Stracciatella — melt it and drizzle it in when it’s about 20F in the ice cream maker. Other details: I also heated the mixture to 170F and cooled it to 17F with about 25% overrun. I really like the fact this recipe has no eggs — since it’s so healthy you can eat more!

    1. It’s like eating ice cream and a cocktail so yes, worthy of a Cheers! Thanks pal! 🙂

  2. The basic mixture is cooling now….will make it before dinner, but I tasted the mix on the whisk and it was glorious. I am eating a small dinner so I will have lots of room for the gelato.CANT WAIT

    1. I hope you love it like we did…so rich you would never know it wasn’t filled with cream in that mix! Now I want to make some more!

  3. Wow Wow Wow! Swoonworthy, indeed! You are doing this to me on purpose, just to get me to visit, aren’t you? It’s working! Amazing chocolate ice cream and I’m crazy to try it with the bourbon! Stunning and, in my humble opinion, better than a straightforward cocktail! Perfect!!!

    1. If it’s working I’ll keep it up. It really was pretty wonderful…a great combination of flavors but always with a light touch with the booze. It was perfect.

    1. Thanks Jen…and it is and I love it too. So glad I took the plunge and sorry for Liks; I can now make ice cream in about the time it took me to drive there and back. Happy Days!

    1. Thank you…even though I snuck in a bit of half and half; there is nothing about this treat that isn’t rich…sort of eye opening for me really. There will be more gelatos (or is that gelatoes? 🙂

    1. It is sinfully incredible. I should have started this ice cream business in June; now it’s all I want to do. Ice cream and booze…oh no not another blog name change! (Kidding)

  4. I’d belly up to any gelato cocktail bar for a taste of this! So happy that those of us without an ice cream maker can try doing this recipe with fudge pops!!

  5. Well..I guess the kids ain’t getting more for all of us! I’m not a dark chocolate or hooch person, as you know..but I think you’d have to hold me back from devouring this gorgeous gelato!

    1. Funny but I’m not a dark chocolate lover either; think that’s why I loved the gelato; it was lighter and then I did enjoyed the occasional bite of dark chocolate. Hooch…you make me laugh!

  6. I love that you take photos of real food without any tricks. I had someone write to me recently to tell me how to doctor up my food so it would look better.

    I can only imagine my husband’s face as he pulled out a steaming tampon from his plate. 🙂

    Your gelato sounds fantastic!

    1. Isn’t that the truth. I went once to a food styling class. Did me very little good. I’m not cooking a meal and then slathering Kitchen Bouquet on it and I’m certainly not putting Fix-O-Dent for dentures in crevices of steak. I can see if you are doing it professionally and food is under lights, etc but here…it’s about the food we eat. Not the dental paste and heaven forbid not the tampons. Ewwww.

  7. You made Sicilian gelato for your Sicilian friend-me!:)grazie! Love the photos -so tempting. Of course you could make chocolate even better with that perfect amount of Bourbon. Love it!

    1. I ‘almost’ didn’t use the word Sicilian in the title but truth is…I did do it JUST for you!! Not kidding.

    1. Sorbet with melons now would be perfect; I got one in my csa box; was thinking I might try the same thing.

    1. Do you have an ice cream maker? Make it silly? If not…the new self contained ones where you freeze the container it gets mixed in? Priceless. Heaven. Perfect. Easy. Can you tell I love it???

    1. Thanks Mick! Shoot I meant to get by today for some bacon. Guess I will just have to eat some ice cream!

    1. Thanks Elle; hope you try some. Not too much…that’s reall booze in there; you’ll quickly be saying scoopawhowhatta?

    1. I’ve been playing with enough popsicles and ice cream to find a few things help. Put a plate into the freezer to get cold. Then scoop your ice cream onto the plate and put back into the freezer. Have everything setup and ready to go and then grab those pups and shoot. It doesn’t hurt to not do it when it’s 90 degrees outside but then I don’t have air…so no duh huh? 🙂

  8. I know what I’m making this weekend! I bought an ice cream maker that was waiting for me when I arrived home from a long, hot business trip. Cinnamon ice cream was the first, very good experiment and this chocolate gelato will be the second. Thank you for sharing.

    1. So you got a toy too? I have loved this thing Jane; so easy. And this? OH SO GOOD!! I do not lie.

    1. Thank you my dear…it is truly worth making. And I truly with I could sign up for your site via EMAIL!!

  9. Sometimes the simple things are the best and this does indeed look like the best. I could definitely lick the screen if I thought it might do me any good. Instead I think I’ll just try this recipe. My ice cream freezer that I just had to have last summer has remained idle this year so I better get with it before fall arrives.

    1. These new fangled ice cream makers are so doggone easy it could be dangerous; already thinking about winter flavors. Cinnamon will surely go with bourbon. Or rum. 🙂

    1. Thanks Rosa…and enough booze I have to be careful to not have that drool get out of control. 🙂

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