For the Holidays: Scream for Boozy Ice Cream

With the holidays upon us, it's time to get a buzz on. What better way to indulge holiday guests than to serve liquored-up ice creams, floats, and cocktails?

Today, spiked ice cream creations are all the rage.

But mixing together ice cream and spirits is nothing new.

The Romans hauled ice down from nearby mountains and spiked it with wine. Centuries later, Italian chefs doused ice with wine to serve to the nobility. Meanwhile, in America, cookbook author Fanny Farmer devised a recipe for Sultana rolls with Claret sauce, while sophisticated diners at New York's famed Delmonico's restaurant were served a punch called Lalla Rookh, a mixture of ice cream, meringue and rum.

Want to create your own ice cream and booze drinks for the holidays? Here are some recipes to try:

Creamy grasshopper. Made with two liqueurs, this drink boasts the consistency of a shake.
Chocolate Stout Float. Just stout and chocolate ice cream. What more do you need?
Mississippi Mud. Put vanilla ice cream together with Southern Comfort and coffee liquer and you have a soused smoothie.
Peach Melba. A classic made with raspberry liquor, ice cream and peaches.

Chocolate Martini
From Ice Cream Happy Hour: Boozy Treats you Spike, Freeze and Serve, by Valerie Lum and Jenise Adison (Ulysses Press)

1½ cups milk
1½ cups heavy cream
½ cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 egg yolks
6 ounces dark chocolate, chopped, or dark chocolate chips
½ packet (½ tablespoon) gelatin
⅓ cup cold water
¼ cup cold (refrigerated) chocolate liqueur
¼ cup cold (refrigerated) vodka or vanilla vodka
Makes about 1 quart
1. Scald the milk, cream, and sugar and the vanilla extract. See page 11.

2. Whisk the egg yolks and temper with one-third of the scalding milk mixture. See page 12.

3. Thicken the custard over low heat. See page 13.

4. Melt the chocolate. Place the chocolate in a large heatproof bowl with a fine-mesh strainer on top. Pour the hot custard through the strainer into the chocolate. Stir until the chocolate is completely melted.

5. Cover, and chill the custard for at least 8 hours. See page 14.

Once the custard is completely cold...

6. Dissolve the gelatin in the cold water. See page 15.

7. Spike the custard with the cold chocolate liqueur, vodka, and gelatin mixture. See page 16.

8. Churn the ice cream for at least 20 minutes. See page 17.

Laura Weiss is the author of Ice Cream: A Global History (Reaktion Books, 2011).