The Drunken Grape

It’s reasonable to expect a scorching summer ahead, at the rate the temperature is rising already. When was the last time you could even dream of donning shorts and flip flops come mid-April? It may be a sign of worse things to come, but right now, this sudden taste of the tropics is a welcome wake-up call from winter. Best of all, it’s now perfectly reasonable to bust out that ice cream maker and get churning, no further excuses necessary.

Rum raisin would have to be on the short list of classic parlor flavors, an essential scoop that must make every menu worth its salt. Sure, raisins can be a polarizing ingredient in desserts, but when soaked in spirits and thoroughly intoxicated on a heady mix of rum and sugar, what’s not to love? A mere replication of this tried-and-true formula wasn’t enough to satiate my appetite for experiment though, and my mind turned to other candies and successful raisin dessert mash-ups.

Ultimately an amalgamation of both the classic rum raisin ice cream and yogurt-covered raisins, the resulting marriage of tart, sweet, and slightly boozy makes me wonder why no one makes the traditional candies infused with spirits in the first place. Do yourself a favor and lose the the waxy coatings in favor of a smooth and creamy coat of thickened vegan yogurt- You’ll end up with not only a healthier treat, but a much more satisfying and grown-up option as well. This particular recipe may have been cut from the final line up in Vegan a la Mode, but there’s yet another rendition on this drunken raisin dessert, with a more chocolaty twist…

Rum Raisin Frozen Yogurt

3 Cups (1 24-Ounce Container) Plain Soy or Coconut Yogurt
2/3 Cup Granulated Sugar
2/3 Cup Raisins
3 Tablespoons Dark Rum
2 Teaspoons Vanilla Extract
1/4 Teaspoon Salt

Line a strainer or colander with cheesecloth and fill with soy yogurt. Wrap the edges of the cheesecloth over the yogurt until fully covered, and place strainer or colander over a pot deep enough to catch the liquid and keep the yogurt from sitting in the moisture. Cover pot with plastic wrap and let sit in the refrigerator for a minimum of 8 hours. You should end up with about 2 1/2 cups of thick yogurt.

In a medium bowl, combine the strained yogurt, sugar, raisins, rum, vanilla, and salt. Stir well, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate overnight. Yes, this one does take a good measure of patience, but allowing the flavors to meld and develop before churning will create a more complex and harmonious final product. Plus, by effectively soaking the raisins for a good couple of hours, this will prevent them from turning into rock-hard icicles once they hit the freezer.

The following morning (don’t worry, there’s no shame in admitting you wanted to sneak a scoop for breakfast!) freeze mixture in an ice cream machine based on the manufacturer’s instructions. For a soft-serve consistency, serve immediately after freezing. For a firmer consistency more like standard ice cream, pack into an airtight container and let chill in the freezer for at least 4 hours.

Makes About 1 Quart

Printable Recipe

24 thoughts on “The Drunken Grape

  1. I’m a little concerned at how hot this summer will be too! The weather has been absolutely crazy this year, hasn’t it? This looks like the perfect thing to cool off with…I really don’t get to eat rum raisin often enough!

  2. For some reason,we don’t have her either soy or coconut based youghurts,although so many other soy products are easily available here, I have tried to make my own soy youghurt,which was sort of ok….That ice cream looks absolutely lovely;rum raisin used to be my favourite flavour!

    1. I’m not sure if it would be more readily available, but you could also substitute vegan “sour cream” instead of the yogurt. I hate to think that you wouldn’t be able to try the recipe!

  3. Can you come to HK and give me a photography lesson? You are so awesome! Your recipe is delicious but your photos are just top notch! Maybe it is time for me to ditch the point and shoot camera? Take Care, BAM

  4. I’m a little confused. The instructions say to mix all the ingredients together (including the raisins) and let sit overnight. Then it says to add the raisins in the last 5 minutes. Which is it please?

  5. I made an icecream that I still have not published yet, with the same flavors, rum & raisin, but fortunately not exactly the same other ingredients and not an ice creamer version neither.
    Yours looks way better than mine which was melting like crazy :(
    This is one of my favorite alcohols (if not the only one, since I did not really try othersà

  6. Wowsers, I can’t believe this one didn’t make the cut! I keep thinking how I need to trial a little alcohol in ice cream since it helps so much with the texture.

  7. The weather where I am is far from what you’re describing, and I’m thinking a jump into a hot shower is what I need to get warm, but still, I’m inspired by your recipe for summer. The recipe is going right into my recipe file. It looks great!

  8. its still cold most days here. I am waiting for a few days on constant highs before i switch out my closet:) .. rum raisin used to be my fave some years back.. this yogurt versions sounds perfect for the summer! I agree with gustia.. thank goodness rum is vegan:)

  9. I fell in love with rum raisins as oatmeal mix-ins on a cruise and now I can’t really appreciate raisins any other way! They really would be perfect in any kind of frozen treat. I love the way you think.

  10. Wow, this looks yummy. It reminds me of a flavor of ice cream that my grandfather used to get. It was called frozen pudding, and it had a few different alcohol-soaked dried fruits in it. I think it was a local sort of thing, and found only in the Boston area.
    I have never tried adding alcohol to ice cream – I may have to try this! I really like the idea of straining the yogurt to get a thicker consistency. We don’t have soy yogurt in our area, but I’ve had some success in making it. I will have to make a batch for this recipe.

  11. Really love rum raisin…although my family may think I’m crazy if I get our ice cream maker out…seeing as we’re going into winter in Australia haha. But in my mind you can eat ice cream any time of the year!

  12. I’m going to make mine with bourbon & follow this recipe stat! Nothing like a boozy grape in some ice cream to make the world alright :)

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