Along the Grapevine

More about Bitters & a Recipe for Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream


This ice cream and the meringues are both flavoured with rhubarb bitters , the recipe for which I posted a couple of weeks ago. The flavouring is very subtle, not at all bitter, but really does enhance the flavour of the dish. These are just two examples of how a fragrant fruit bitters can be used.DSC02979

Since I made my first batch of bitters, I have been curious as to just how to make use of them. After all a good half litre is a bit much for the odd cocktail. I have used it to make a salad dressing for fruit salad, mixed with fruit juice, zest, ginger and honey;  I used it to glaze sweet buns; best of all I added a teaspoon or two to my coffee. In each of these applications, the bitters enhanced the flavour of whatever it was added to with the most delicious floral notes and aroma.

Ice cream seemed a good place to start, and if you have a favourite recipe of your own, I would recommend adding the bitters to that. Frozen desserts are one of my favourite ways to experiment with flavours, so I decided to stick with the rhubarb theme and mix that and fresh ginger in a sauce which was mixed into a standard ice cream custard mixture. If you are not convinced that it is worth making your own ice cream, just consider the wonderful variations you can create which you would never find even in the best ice cream parlours – much less any supermarket.

Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream


1/2 cup sugar or honey

1/2 cup chopped rhubarb

1 tsp grated fresh ginger

2 cups 10% cream

3 egg yolks, lightly beaten

4 Tbsp rhubarb or other fruit bitters


Mix the first three ingredients in a sauce pan, bring to a boil and simmer until the rhubarb is soft and the ginger cooked, about three minutes.

In a separate pan heat the milk to just below boiling. Gradually add a small amount (about 1/4) cup to the egg mixture and blend, then add another of the same amount and do the same. Pour the egg mixture into the milk and simmer until the custard coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and mix in the rhubarb mixture. When the custard has cooled, add the rhubarb bitters. Chill, process in an ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions, then freeze. Makes 3/4 litre.

And since I had three egg whites, I whipped them with 3/4 cup sugar, 1/3 tsp cream of tartar and a splash of bitters. Dried in the oven for an hour at 220 degrees F and allowed to cool in the oven once done. I made some ice cream sandwiches with the small ones, and the larger ones I used as a base. Either way they were great.


Linked to Angie’s Fiesta Friday #113, Sonal at Simply Vegetarian and Laurie at ten.times.tea.

Related posts: Anise hyssop and Peach Ice Cream; Olive Oil Ice Cream with Balsamic Wild Strawberries; Salted Caramel Spruce Ice Cream


Author: Hilda

I am a backyard forager who likes to share recipes using the wild edibles of our area.

22 thoughts on “More about Bitters & a Recipe for Rhubarb Ginger Ice Cream

  1. This ice cream sounds really wonderful!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Wow! It sounds wonderful! I was wondering what one could do with all of those bitters too! But it sounds like it is amazingly versatile! I am looking forward to buying an ice-cream maker this summer, and trying some of your ideas, Hilda!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Thanks Julianna. Speaking of ice cream machines, which I highly recommend, I bought mine over 30 years ago for about $15. I keep hoping it will die so I can buy a fancy new one, but it just keeps going and going. I would love to hear of any recipes using bitters you come up with.


  4. This is a superb experiment Hilda! The Icecream sounds very interesting! ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The newer machines haven’t the stamina that your old faithful has. You hang onto it. That recipe sounds lovely, Hilda, particularly like it that I only have to use three eggs.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I didn’t know the old ones were better. I have lost the instructions, and work it by gosh or by golly, but it does do the trick. I just assumed the new ones were ‘improved’. Before this one, I actually had a salt bucket type. Wish I still had it!


  6. I wish I could have a couple of scoops of this ice cream now, while I’m sitting in front of TV… I’am sure your ice cream must be amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I would never have thought to put bitters into anything other than drinks! This ice cream looks like a success!

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Hilda, what a success! You’ve gone in so many different directions to make use of these bitters, and now even ice cream! Meringue ice cream sandwiches, by the way, sound like the perfect contrast of textures. Light, crisp and airy meringue with rich and creamy ice cream…maybe next time I make a pavlova it should involve ice cream! 🙂
    Oh, and out of curiosity, is the alcohol content of the ice cream sufficient for it stay softer?


  9. What an interesting combination Hilda! The ice cream looks lovely!

    Liked by 1 person

  10. It’s about time to bring up my ice cream maker from the basement. I love to make ice cream when the weather gets warmer. Such an interesting combination but I am sure it is delicious – it sure looks good 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Your special ice-cream looks utte ly delicious & i must make it soon! Yumm!

    Liked by 1 person

  12. Hilda, What a creative and delicious way to use bitters ! I am drooling !

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Mmm nice looking ice cream Hilda!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. What a gorgeous recipe and I love how you used the bitters – that’s so interesting. And that Ginger – so good with rhubarb! Best of all, I love the use of the whites!! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Pingback: Honeysuckle Ice Cream | Along the Grapevine

  16. Pingback: Rhubarb Chutney | Along the Grapevine

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