During the holidays, I really like those liqueur-filled chocolate candies. Some of them pack a kick, and I’ve always wondered how many of them it’d take before I felt any effects from the alcohol. Turns out you’d have to eat a traumatic amount of them before you felt any effects from the alcohol whatsoever (someone tried, thank you for your service), and you’re more likely to feel sick than buzzed. But what about, say, boozy ice cream? Would that do the trick? HuffPost took a look.
Ice cream containing alcohol is nothing new, but demand for it during this past terrible year has gone up. Federal law considers products with less than 0.5% alcohol as non-alcoholic, but each state has its own regulations. New York State’s regulation says that liquor-infused ice cream is food if it’s less than 5% alcohol by volume. Maryland-based Arctic Buzz manages to pack up to 9% in some of its ice cream. That’s actually a pretty fair wallop.
Putting alcohol in ice cream does come with its technical challenges. Food science professor Douglas Goff of the University of Guelph in Ontario says that alcohol can affect the way ice cream freezes.
“Alcohol depresses the freezing point and makes ice cream soft, so if too much is added, the ice cream will become too soft and have a very short shelf-life,” he said. “Consequently, in many cases, some alcohol can be added, like a liqueur or a spirit for example, but often the flavor intensity is boosted with a non-alcoholic flavor to match.”
An average beer contains about 5% ABV, so putting that much alcohol in a pint of ice cream would be a fairly technical challenge. “You would have to eat a lot of ice cream to be the equivalent of two to three standard drinks,” Goff told HuffPost. “Probably you’d get satiated by the fat before that could happen. So no, it won’t make you drunk.”
But that doesn’t mean you can go all out, you’re still going to want to be mindful about doing things like jumping in the car after a pint. Everyone’s different. If you plow down a pint on an empty stomach, you might feel the effects, especially if you’re not a regular drinker. So while the final answer is that you probably can’t get drunk off of alcoholic ice cream, still, be mindful and enjoy it responsibly. I’m a little lactose intolerant anyway, so if I had a whole pint of ice cream, there’s no way I’d be going out in public.