Homemade ice cream takes happily to a few shots of liquor—my creamy bourbon caramel and vegan whiskey ginger soy ice cream are two perennial hits at summer barbeques—but making the leap to wine can be intimidating. I’ve been working on it since those teasing hot days we had in mid-April, and the magic formula turns out to be one-part wine, two-parts cream, one-part whole milk. If going vegan, substitute soy creamer/yogurt and soymilk or coconut cream and coconut milk (though I’d be wary of adding anything other than a very fruity white wine to the coconut combo; I have a hunch white zinfandel might be strangely good). I’ve tried champagne ice cream and regular cream/milk with great success; it works just fine with last night’s flat remains. But the big winner so far has been a merlot chocolate chip. As with cooking, the better the wine, the better the result, but merlot, or syrah/shiraz in a pinch, works best because of its lack of complexity—no big reds here.
For one quart of ice cream:
Heat one pint of heavy cream and one cup of milk over low heat and add one to one-and-a-half cups of sugar. Stir slowly until dissolved. Let cool, then add one cup of merlot and mix in a standard ice cream mixer. Add a cup of chocolate chips when just frozen and stir. (Monica Westin)