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Cigar and Bourbon Ice Cream....

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I was looking for a good Strawberry Ice Cream recipe (I misplaced my David Lebovitz Perfect Scoop book) and accidentally came across a recipe for Cigar and Bourbon Ice Cream. I decided to try it out and I wanted to report here that it is VERY good... I wasn't sure what to except. I like surpising my friends with different flavours but I am cautious to have them try it without telling them what it is for this one because I am not sure if the nicotine would get extracted from the infusion process (I guess some wood):

Here is a link to the recipe:


I have just tasted a scoop so far while emptying out the contents of the ice cream maker into containers to put into my freezer. It burns the throat a little (not sure if from the bourbon or from the tobacco).

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  1. Wow, I've never seen tobacco used as an ingredient. I've smoked a cigar along with some really good chocolate, ice cream, rum and bourbon (not all at once) but never used one as an ingredient in a dish.

    1. Maybe "very good" to you. Cigar is just too much for me.

      1. Here are the pics:


        I had "cigar smoked" gnocchi at LAB in Toronto but I haven't tried any other cigar infused food before.... So far people are really intrigued by the flavour...

        1. Didn't Thomas Keller of The French Laundry make some sort of tobacco infused dessert concoction, I want to say panna cotta, for Anthony Bourdain on an episode of the FN program A Cook's Tour: The French Laundry Experience? IIRC, Mr. Bourdain was at the same moment both touched and slightly unsure of the significance of the gesture, i.e. he thought it might be a dis.

          Aside from the difficuly I'd have getting a Cohiba Club, I'd actually like to try this. Hm, I wnder if I could sub a Phillies Blunt?

          10 Replies
          1. re: bushwickgirl

            Ok some one must say it -so I will, this just sounds rude, and yes I may be rude for saying it, but this one goes to far.

            1. re: cookkevin

              Did you mean to address me? Are you talking about the ice cream idea? How is it rude? Sounds very intriguing to me. You could call it not to your liking, but it's not rude.

              If you're referring to my post, the dinner was a completely real occurrence on a food Network episode of A Cook's Tour; the tobacco infused dessert had to do with the fact that Tony Bourdain was smoking quite heavily at the time. I seem to remember that he enjoyed the meal immensely, including the dessert, although he was not very clear on Thomas Keller's intentions in serving him that dish.

              I was not kidding about making the ice cream with a Phillies Blunt, which I read has a mild sweet flavor. Plus they're readily available in my neighborhood.

              1. re: bushwickgirl

                I think that cookkevin's reponse may have been for my first comment.

                1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                  Oh, ok, I was confused...I didn't think your comment was rude, though; to each his/her own. If I ever try this ice cream, I'll report back; I don't mind occasionally being an guinea pig.

                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                    I don't think my comment was too rude, but it is certainly rude-er than yours. I were trying to figure which comment cookkevin was responsing to as well. Consider that I were the only one who stated that I won't like the ice cream, he might have been addressing to me.

                    1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                      Yes, I think that may have been the case; I was completely confused. I thought maybe cookkevin thought the idea of tobacco infused ice cream was rude, ha ha.

                      I didn't even notice your post, sorry. I think you were just stating an opinion and we all have the right to do that here.

                      1. re: Chemicalkinetics

                        Lets put the rude stuff to rest, Cigar and Bourbon Ice Cream sounds rude and Im sure it would in fact taste rude. And at the risk of having this post removed I think any one who think it tastes good should get to the doctor and have ther taste buds checked.

                        1. re: cookkevin

                          Ok, so you think the food is rude. Then shouldn't you reply to original poster? Bushwickgril and I thought you meant we are rude.

                          1. re: cookkevin

                            Actually from what I've read, tobacco imparts a rich, slightly smoky, nutty flavor. Nothing rude about that. But taste is subjective and one person's delicious is another's distasteful. Humans eat many things I consider to be appalling, but I don't think of those choices as rude, they're just choices.

                            cookkevin, opinions are welcome at chow, but just make sure you address the proper party when expressing yours.

                2. re: bushwickgirl

                  Yeah Keller made some kind of coffee custard with tobacco leaves, but I can't seem to find a good description of it anywhere online -- just people's comments about the TV episode.

                3. Don't know why, but I find this idea slightly nauseating. I guess I'll stick to butter pecan!

                  18 Replies
                  1. re: roxlet

                    I think if you consider tobacco in the way a cigar smells when it's smoked, which is totally appalling to me, (but I do like the smell of pipe tobacco) then I would find the idea nauseating. But it appears that cigar tobacco has some flavor profiles that are not apparent when it's simply smoked.

                    Anyways, here's a NYT article on the subject, with comments from some noted chefs on their particular tobacco experiments, including the infamous Thomas Keller-Tony Bourdain dessert incident. The most telling remark, in light of the recipe topic at hand, was that of a Manhattan chef, who remarked that tobacco "...works really well with fatty foods."


                    It seems like the OP's scratchy throat was in fact due to the tobacco.

                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                      I got a "page not found" on that link...

                      1. re: roxlet

                        Oh, it's working for me. I always check my links after posting to be sure...just checked it again and it's ok. Maybe it's where you are? I don't know how that works.

                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                          I couldn't get in either. Maybe it's "members only" content? I read somewhere recently that the NYT was going to switch over to that soon.

                          1. re: morwen

                            Yes, I am a member but I linked to the article from a google search. The page does have my screen name on it though. Must be that members only content thing.

                          2. re: bushwickgirl

                            I got it the second time, and btw, I'm a "member."

                            1. re: roxlet

                              fwiw I got it the second time I tried and I'm not a member.

                          3. re: bushwickgirl

                            Nictotine is an irritant, so yes, the scratchy throat was because of the tobacco. I wonder if the tar, etc were removed.

                            1. re: souschef

                              I think it's just the nicotine; it's a known irritant. Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe tar (the toxic chemicals found in cigarettes and cured tobacco products) is only delivered when inhaling the smoke, whether deeply or however cigars smokers tend to inhale.

                              I'm personally going to debate making this in my head for a good while before I try it, perhaps it's the figs and the bourbon in the ice cream I find much more attractive.;-)

                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                As a lifelong non-smoker I am NEVER going to make it.

                                1. re: bushwickgirl

                                  You are right. Tar is the term for burned and partially in smoking tobacco. However, the lack of tar does not mean it has no concern. Think chewing tobacco.


                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    Bushwickgirl, did you ever end up trying this recipe? I was going to make a black cardamom ice cream, but this sounds so much more exciting. I just need a veteran CHer's approval before I take the leap.

                                    1. re: JungMann

                                      Yes, I did it late last summer, the tobacco imparted an um, interesting smoky flavor, not at all offputting. Mrbushy liked it quite a bit. Go forth and give it a try, or wait until you can get fresh figs, that was the real draw for me and made it special. Let me know when you do, and what you think.

                                      1. re: bushwickgirl

                                        This sounds intriguing. To me, cigar and bourbon is a great combination of flavours, though I don't smoke. I do love red wines that have that dark tobacco-y note. I can't imagine how it works with the sweetness and creaminess of the icecream though. Maybe this one will go in the recipe file until fig season =)

                                        1. re: gembellina

                                          If you have no issues with the ingredients, namely tobacco, do give this a try. I used pipe tobacco, no particular brand that I remember, not flavored stuff; it was a good experiment that we enjoyed. I found the smokiness actually went well with the creaminess, and the figs and bourbon were a great addition. I would make this again, if that's any recommendation.

                              2. re: roxlet

                                I'm with you roxlet. Interesting, but yes nauseating. I can't stand the smell of cigars and I can't imagine trying to make those cancer sticks edible. Maybe if I'm ever desperate for something to eat....

                              3. As someone who has a severe allergic reaction (i.e., bring on the inhaler STAT) the minute she inhales tobacco smoke -- I cannot begin to describe the revulsion this recipe stirs.

                                Prunes and bourbon, awesome. But all I can think of is the cigar a guest at my home put out in a glass of water (he wasn't aware of my allergy, and put it out as soon as my husband mentioned it) - the next morning revealed a glass of sodden brown glop in thick brown water.

                                2 Replies
                                1. re: sunshine842

                                  Obviously this recipe would not be for you. I appreciate your input though. The flavor from tobacco leaves and tobcacco smoke are two different things; that said, I realize this recipe is not for all.

                                  Perhaps try it with the figs (or prunes, as you wrote, awesome combo. and the bourbon) and skip anything that will cause any kind of negative reaction.

                                  1. re: bushwickgirl

                                    Tobacco has a very complex, slightly sweet, earthy flavor to it that I would think is terrific in this dessert. A very clever dish. Like any other plant product, the taste of the ingredient varies greatly based upon the quality of the plant used. A fine cigar is going to be made using top grade tobacco. Similarly, a Cavendish pipe tobacco would be a good choice to use.

                                    As to the “nicotine is an irritant” notion, please do not confuse the notion of an oral irritant with that of the “irritating” effect that smoke may have on the nasal or respiratory passages. In the instant application, the irritant character at issue is similar to that of capsaicin. Other comparables would be tea, cocoa, or coffee, each of which has astringent qualities.

                                    ETA - I probably should have posted this as a response to the OP, please read it that way.

                                2. The burn is almost certainly from the nicotine, especially if it's a scratchy sorta burning that just disappears after a few minutes. The alcohol burn would leave something of a "throat glow," or at least that's been my experience with alcohol ice creams. We have a local manufacturer who makes an ice-cream called "Secret Breakfast," which is a bourbon/cornflake ice cream. It's tasty and it's interesting, but not what I crave at ALL when I want a scoop. The same would go for the cigar/bourbon mixture. I'd certainly try it, but to me that's just a novelty akin to trying to make yardgrass edible and interesting and tasty, e.g. just because something isn't poisonous or can be made to be edible, doesn't mean it SHOULD be. I mean, I suppose I could distill and strain bongwater and make something palatable to someone somewhere, but I just wouldn't do it. Why, you may ask? Well, because at the end of the day, what would be the point? Just so I could say I did it? : )

                                  10 Replies
                                  1. re: mamachef

                                    Mmn, interesting points as always, and I certainly live in the school of "somethings are just not meant to do just because you can." I'm not known for trying something for the sake of doing it, either, but this ice cream was personally intriguing to me. More the bourbon and fig addition actually, than the tobacco...

                                    Not sure I'd consider bongwater for any culiary adventures, though, it's never a very attractive color and I have sniffed it, yuk...but didn't swallow.;-))

                                    1. re: bushwickgirl

                                      Hah, I know from you and the figs. I never did tell you that Mr. ended up putting the last of our figs into the smoker, just for giggles and experimentation purposes. I wonder how those would work in ice cream? They made an interesting, nuanced gastrique, but I wouldn't do it again on purpose.
                                      Oh, you didn't taste the water? That's good. We certainly didn't inhale. : )

                                      1. re: mamachef

                                        Now smoked figs defintely speaks to me for this ice cream, over using tobaccky. Or maybe just grilled figs, what a revelation. Must try.

                                        Yes, had friends back in the day who thought fine aged bongwater was a thing to be carefully cultivated and savored. Woof.

                                        1. re: bushwickgirl

                                          Oh Jesus Murphy. I cannot even begin to fathom what their breath smelt like, much less what their tummies felt like.
                                          (Hey, a poem. By me.!)

                                          1. re: mamachef

                                            Burp, blech, bloop, hmmph. Room clearing breath.

                                            1. re: bushwickgirl

                                              Girl, you could work on that and turn it into a haiku for the other thread. : )

                                    2. re: mamachef

                                      Bourbon and tobacco is actually a flavor combination that has a lot of resonance for me. It's the flavor of relaxing in the summertime, barbecue crackling in the background and the warm breeze wafting the smoke downwind. The fact that I could possibly concentrate that flavor into ice cream sounds great! It didn't pair well with dinner last night, but with warm headed our way, perhaps I can make it for our next cookout.

                                      1. re: JungMann

                                        JungMann, I do see a commonality there in the profiles of each component: the smoke, the vanilla, molassesy, spicy overtones and sweetish finish....
                                        I'm thinking my reaction is actually more visceral than logical; a little more abstract. :) It has to do with a grampa who for years smoked/chewed Really Good Seegars and drank Really Good Bourbon and the smells associated with it. And the scratchy throat I associate with oral ingestion of nicotine gum, which isn't a pleasant-feeling "afterglow."
                                        And on the side of irony, I adore good sippin' bourbon and have been known to puff, and enjoy, a cigar. So I'm not really sure why this block about it.

                                        1. re: JungMann

                                          I've used tobacco in ice cream before, as noted previously here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/773845

                                          Tobacco is also good in place of tea for Chinese smoked duck or chicken.

                                        2. re: mamachef

                                          mamachef, great reply, (on Apr 10, 2011 06:58AM)

                                          most of my replys on this post have been removed, I was just to blunt on my wording on how bad this recipe sounds to me, so thank you again mamachef for your eloquent words here.

                                        3. If a person likes 'cigar & bourbon' enough to try to put it in ice cream, it seems to me they'd really rather have a cigar and a glass of bourbon! There's a whole lot of ritual (conscious or not) that goes with smoking and drinking -- you won't get that with ice cream.

                                          It would be like a surfer trying to get the same feeling by trying on bathing suits.

                                          1. let us know if it still burns after it has been sitting the the freezer for awhile. Sadly, my Cuban cigar smoking friends are scotch drinkers. I think the recipe sounds really intriguing probably because I like an occasional cigar. Maybe subbing tea leaves for the cigar might work for those people who are turned off by cigars.

                                            3 Replies
                                            1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                              A smoked tea, I assume?

                                              Funny, never thought of you as a cigar smoker, even occasionally! ;-))

                                              1. re: bushwickgirl

                                                Thanks for making me laugh! Cigars unlit are not smoky tasting, but lightly smoky tea might work. As for my my occasional imbibing, it all depends on the man I am keeping company with, not exactly a girls night out activity.

                                                1. re: free sample addict aka Tracy L

                                                  "on the man I am keeping company with"

                                                  It does work that way, doesn't it.

                                            2. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/foodanddri...

                                              A recipe I stumbled upon for fig and tobacco tart, though to be honest the the idea of drizzzling tobacco syrup on a plate of fig tart doesn't really appeal in the same way as infusing the cream with it...

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: gembellina

                                                When I first read tobacco syrup, I thought, ew, nah, but a few pinches of pipe tocacco is very little, with a very short infusion period to boot. I don't think it would be intensely flavored at all. I may give this a try in fig season, tasting the syrup first before anointing the plate, as I very fond of fresh fig tarts in general, and would hate to mess one up.

                                                Thanks for posting this, g.

                                              2. I just re-searched this thread as I was looking for the recipe I used before to post it on another forum. Of all of the ice creams I made last year this is the one I have thought of most... Maybe it was the nicotine :) I have been slow to make much ice cream this year (partly because I don't want to be tempted to eat it all) but I did end up doing a smoked jalapeno chocolate one earlier. Totally different taste obviously but the recent posts in this thread got me thinking about doing grilled figs at some point.