How Ina Garten Incorporates Citrusy Alcohol Into Ice Cream

We love ice cream. In 2021, the U.S. alone produced over 1.3 billion gallons of the stuff, making up a $13.1 billion industry, according to the International Dairy Foods Association (IDFA). In fact, it says, the average American consumes about 20 pounds (roughly 4 gallons) of ice cream every single year.

Celebrity chef and television personality Ina Garten loves this comfort food, too. Garten has published about a dozen books and stars in the self-titled Food Network show "Barefoot Contessa." This is a chef who knows a thing or two about gastronomy – ice cream included. Perhaps surprisingly, Garten's favorite ice cream flavor is none other than classic vanilla. "I love anything that has vanilla in it," Garten told The Kitchn, adding that a good vanilla is tough to really get right. (She isn't alone, either: Vanilla is one of the top 10 most popular ice cream flavors among U.S. consumers, per the IDFA.)

The chef feels the same way about peach ice cream. It seldom emulates the taste and aroma of a true peach, and many recipes incorporate almond extract, which overpowers the delicate peach flavor, says Garten. Luckily, in her cookbook "How Easy Is That? Fabulous Recipes & Easy Tips," she shares her secret for getting it right – and it might surprise you.

Orange you glad we're adding liqueur?

The Barefoot Contessa's secret for perfectly-flavored peach ice cream? Alcohol. Specifically Grand Marnier and Sauternes (via The Kitchn). Here's why it works.

Grand Marnier's Cordon Rouge is a combination of cognac and orange liqueur. The liqueur boasts subtle notes of candied orange zest and vanilla, with a bitter orange and hazelnut finish. The orange flavor profile adds dimensionality and pairs nicely with the natural peach flavor. Sauternes, on the other hand, is a type of Bordeaux wine from the namesake region of Sauternes, France. The dessert wine is famous for its characteristic golden color and citrus flavors, per Wine Folly, a result of its makeup: a combination of Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc grapes.

A vanilla ice cream – or even a peach variety – would be complemented by a Sauternes like the 2004 Chateau Rieussec with notes of lemon, apricot, and lilac, per the eponymous (We're really screaming for ice cream, now.) If this citrus, slightly-boozy ice cream flair suits your palette, consider giving Limoncello a try for your next batch.