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Homemade Root Beer Ice

Lately, I have been on a sorbet kick. I made lemon, sugar free lemon, watermelon and Valencia Orange Sorbet.

About a week ago Lynn and I went to Ritas, an Italian ice and custard shop. Ritas is a chain that came to our area about 1.5 years ago. Their custard and Italian ice are very good and I highly recommend it.

While I was eating my Rita’s, I realized that the sorbet I make is real close in texture to the Rita’s Italian ice. That caused me to want to make my own Italian ice.

One of the Ritas menu items is a Gelati, that is frozen custard with Italian ice layered together. One of the better combinations is Root Beer Italian ice and vanilla custard. Since I already know how to make vanilla custard, I decided to attempt root beer ice to potentially go with home made vanilla custard.

I found it harder to track down an Italian ice recipe then I expected. There are many companies selling Italian ice kits, but not many recipes. The first recipe in a google search was from McCormick. I usually stay away from companies recipes, but used this one this time.

I quickly whipped together the ice. Like the sorbet, this is really simple to make. The only thing I did wrong is we ate it too early. I should have allowed it to be in the freezer longer. That is why my pictures look like brown piles of something rather than nice scoops of Italian ice.

I think this is a recipe that I will stick with. We happened to have McCormick root beer concentrate at the house. I am not sure I like the flavor of it. It seemed a bit chemically and fake. We ordered some natural concentrate and I will be using that to make my next batch. I am going to be making root beer ice and vanilla ice cream for July 4th, so I am sure you will be able to read more about this experiment in the next few days.


Homemade Root Beer Ice


  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 cup water
  • 1 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp McCormick’s Root Beer Concentrate


  • Mix sugar, water and lemon juice in medium saucepan. Bring to boil. Reduce heat to low; simmer 10 minutes. Stir in root beer concentrate.
  • Refrigerate 2 hours or until chilled.
  • Pour into an ice cream maker. Freeze according to manufacturer’s directions.


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