Staying breezy and buzzy in the summertime can be difficult. Luckily, someone had the frankly brilliant idea of combining ice cream and booze to create milkshakes and floats for the over-21 set. Whoever thought of that should be given a Nobel. Or at the very least a James Beard Award. Now you can cool down as you drink up these sweet, spirituous swigs. Without further ado, here are nine boozy milkshakes that are guaranteed to blow your mind and freeze your brain.
Ted’s Bulletin – 14th Street, Washington, D.C.
Choose from one of the classic combos – such as Irish Caramel (vanilla ice cream, freshly brewed coffee and Irish Cream) or grasshopper (vanilla ice cream, Kahlúa, and crème de menthe) – or mix and match your favorite flavors. We’re partial to a PB&J&JB (peanut butter and jelly and Jim Beam), though the Millionaire Malt made with 18-year-old Glenlivet is a worthy indulgence.
Saltwood Charcuterie & Bar, Atlanta, Georgia
You might think you hear a banjo playing if you order this spiked sipper. A few orbs of vanilla moonshine ice cream are dropped into a mason jar mug full of frosty Coke. Consider it deliverance from the usual boring old floats.
STK Midtown, New York, New York
We believe that doughnuts make everything better. Case in point is this milkshake forged out of cinnamon liqueur and dulce de leche ice cream, which comes with a petite pail brimming with cinnamon sugar-dusted churro bites.
Heavy Seas Alehouse, Arlington, Virginia
Beer is awesome. So is ice cream. Therefore, a beer float is totally awesome. There are five options, but our favorite is the Peg Leg float featuring the alehouse’s own imperial stout, a couple of generous scoops of vanilla ice cream, and a splash of Coke to add a little sweetness. [Photo by Laura Hayes]
CUT by Wolfgang Puck at The Beverly Wilshire, Los Angeles, California
Studies have shown that regularly eating dark chocolate can lower the risk of heart disease. But what if you consume that dark chocolate in the form of a milkshake amped up with Buffalo Trace bourbon and coronated with plenty of sweet cream? Who cares? We’re drinking it anyway.
Prospect Restaurant in Hotel Jerome, Aspen, Colorado
Hunter S. Thompson partied at this hotel. John Wayne crashed there. And it inspired Glenn Frey to write the song “Partytown.” They all probably knocked back more than a few of the establishment’s signature cocktail, the Aspen Crud, a mix of freshly churned vanilla ice cream and bourbon.
Del Frisco’s Grille, North Bethesda, Maryland
This shake is a triple threat. Boasting Nocello walnut liqueur, crème de cacao, and chocolate liqueur – not to mention plenty of vanilla ice cream – it’s head-spinningly good.
The Original, Portland, Oregon
More than half a dozen boozy milkshakes by pastry chef Jeremy Intille vie for your attention at this hipster diner. We always hone in on the Knight Rider made with chocolate ice cream, Oreo crumbs, crème de cacao, and Kahlúa. Unlike so many of Michael’s harebrained schemes that could get them both killed, K.I.T.T. would surely approve of this cooling concoction.
Play at The Broadmoor, Colorado Springs, Colorado
Here’s a birthday party in a glass. Cake-batter ice cream is blended with vanilla rum and topped off with a flurry of rainbow sprinkles. Singing “Happy Birthday” at the top of your lungs after your straw slurps up the last drops is entirely optional — but highly enjoyable.
Nevin Martell is a Washington, D.C.-based food and travel writer and the author of several books, including Freak Show Without A Tent: Swimming with Piranhas, Getting Stoned in Fiji and Other Family Vacations. Find him on Twitter @nevinmartell.