Anyone who knows me or follows me on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, knows that there are a couple things that I have a weakness for – alright, maybe a few more than that after you count sunsets, Chuck Taylors, and
girls who wear frayed jeans with plaid road trips. However, a rather new weakness is my love for what I’ve come to refer as boozy frozen drinks. They are the culinary X-Men of our day, combining two great things, into an even greater thing, often in the form of ice cream + booze. There are some things that are not meant to be joined together, fruit and cake (fruitcake) being two of them. However, there are some things that just naturally seem to go together, and I can’t think of a better combination than the marriage of happy hour and dessert that is happening in restaurants and bars around America. So in my quest for the best boozy milkshakes in America, I give you a few of the ones I’ve come across so far.
Mark Burger, New York City, New York. This was my first foray into boozy frozen drinks three years ago, when I originally came here for their burger sliders, but was taken with their Guinness milkshake. Located in my favorite Manhattan neighborhood, the East Village, New York City’s Mark Burger isn’t anything fancy schmancy. There’s nothing complex or innovative about this one, just vanilla ice cream combined with Guinness draft. However, having the love for Ireland that I do, coupled with my love for ice cream and beer, this was a match made for heaven. I’ve been on a search for the best boozy milkshakes ever since!
The Corner Store, San Francisco, California. First of all, the name. When I first heard about this place opening up in San Francisco last year, I knew it had my name all over it, taking me back to my days as a child, kicking it on a soda fountain bar stool at the corner store in my hometown, slurping on a milkshake. The Corner Store has some of that same feel, but with a modern spin to it. I originally went for brunch, but I recommend skipping the food and going straight for the boozy milkshakes (or do a nightcap here, which I’ve also done). My favorite (and the favorite among my amigos) is The 50/50, which featured spiced rum mixed with vanilla ice cream and topped off with orange marmalade. A boozy milkshake they’ve added since I visited is the Manhattan Shake, which is just as you might expect, bourbon, sweet vermouth, and cherry syrup blended with vanilla ice cream.
The Neapolitan, Las Vegas, Nevada. A stop one morning for some boozy frozen samples last summer quickly turned into a buzz to start my day in Las Vegas. The Neapolitan is an attraction in and of itself, since it sits right by the pool at The Cosmopolitan, overlooking the Las Vegas Strip. The Neapolitan has you covered with everything from boozy ice cream, to milkshakes, to popsicles, to sorbets. My favorite? That would be W.W.E.D. You know, what would Elvis do! Are you sitting down for this? The W.W.E.D. milkshake comes with peanut butter, banana, and walnut liqueur swirls sprinkled with bits of maple bacon, infused with a generous helping of Maker’s 46. Another favorite of mine is the Black and Tan This sorbet, which is a liquid nitrogen-charged treat featuring Guinness and Bass topped with caramel drizzle, chocolate shavings, and pretzel bits (You can read my full article about The Neapolitan on 7×7.com.).
The Counter, Atlanta, Georgia. Go for the burger, but stay for the Pinot Noir milkshake. Yes, that’s right, a wine-infused milkshake. The Counter is know around America as a custom-built burger joint, where patrons choose from a long list of meat, toppings, cheeses, and buns to have a burger their way. Skip the fries though and go straight for dessert with one of their large booze-laced drinks, including their Pinot Noir milkshake. Of all the boozy frozen treats I’ve had, I was the most skeptical about this one. Nonetheless, just moments after having this wine milkshake put in front of me, I was slurping every last bit out of the bottom. The milkshake features vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, bits of cherries, and Pinot Noir, topped off with whipped cream.
Lunchbox Laboratory, Seattle, Washington. Seattle’s Lunchbox Laboratory is just that, a lunch (and dinner) lab, with items frequently rotating in and out. This isn’t rotating items like a BLT, but things you might put into a meal if you were just trying to scrounge around for whatever leftover food you could put onto a sandwich. They have weekly experiments, such as this week’s menu which includes The Dead-Beet Dad, a burger that involves lamb, Monterey jack cheese, onions, diced golden beets, and honey-beet Greek yogurt sauce. Lunchbox Laboratory has several regular boozy milkshakes, each one of which comes with its own test tube of booze that you can either take as a shot or mix into your shake. Continuing with the Elvis theme, I always go for The Drunken Elvis, featuring vanilla ice cream, graham crackers, and a test tube of Malibu Banana, Absolut Vanilia, and Baileys.
What’s your favorite dessert (booze-laced or not) that you’ve found from your travels?