Nate’s Double Fernet Ginger

Alcoholic ice creams are weird. Because alcohol doesn’t freeze, it’s difficult to get the ice cream to actually not turn into slush (or worse), so the first step is removing egg yolks. Egg yolks lower the temperature required to freeze ice cream, so an all dairy version is more likely to stay solid. But even then, you still have to try to get rid of the alcohol — without getting rid of the flavor. Bringing to a boil seems to do the trick, or so I tell myself.


In the proper light, the syrup layer seems almost translucent.

My dear friend Nate, a fan of Fernet Branca and Indian food, suggested that I make a Fernet ice cream. For those who don’t know the Bay Area’s obsession with Fernet, it’s an Italian amaro that you can drink straight (eek), on the rocks (still eek), with Coke (if you’re Argentine), or with whiskey and simple syrup (in what’s called a Toronto, a delightful cocktail). Mixing it with ginger — which, as we know, is one of my favorite flavors — adds a nice bite to the medicinal tinge of the amaro. Nate’s birthday is coming up again, so it seemed like a good time to make another batch. He’s a smart guy, but this was one of his best ideas.


Serve in a cocktail glass — if you want to drive the point home.

I’ve combined it with a syrup of Fernet, sugar, and ginger as well — to mirror the flavor of the ice cream, and to compensate for a potential lack of Fernet flavor in the base. You can never be too careful. The general technique here will work for most alcoholic ice creams as well. More such recipes TK.

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Mona’s Lime Sorbet with Candied Ginger


My mom’s reaction to my giving her the credit for my interest in cooking was typical for our family (“Why did you say I was the reason?!”). In our family we’re not great at compliments. As I told her, “You know, some parents would be happy about their children given them credit, even if it wasn’t deserved.”

I spent four years in grad school in Ann Arbor (#goblue) and one of my favorite spots to hang out was Zingerman’s — the famous deli, specialty food store, and café. I spent many hours there studying intellectual property and technology policy. One of my favorite Zingerman’s traditions is that many of their sandwiches are named after different people — something I’m going to adopt here.

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