Bringing all the boozehounds to the yard
Vincent Vega sits across Mia Wallace at Jack Rabbit Slim’s as she orders a “five dollar shake.” Startled by the price (it is 1994, after all), Vega asks, “You don’t put bourbon in it or nothing?” They don’t, but Vega was onto something in Pulp Fiction.
Fortunately for Bostonians, adding booze to ice cream has become a staple at many restaurants. In Jamaica Plain, burger joint Grass Fed offers seven different adult milkshakes, each with different spirits. One milkshake features tequila and caramel vodka, while another uses absinthe and strawberry liquor. I tried their Milk Stout Shake, a cocktail of chocolate and vanilla ice cream spiked with Left Hand Brewery‘s Nitro Milk Stout; the sweetness of the ice cream complemented—but didn’t disguise—the flavors of the beer. If you’re looking for something with a bit more zing, try the “Banana’s Foster Parent,” starring a hefty amount of dark rum. At $11 each, Vincent Vega might still be agog at the prices of this adult beverage, but he would have to admit,
“Goddamn, that is a pretty fucking good milkshake.”
If you prefer a spoon over a straw, head downtown to jm Curley, where they serve vanilla ice cream whipped with tasty boozy toppings. “Concretes,” as they call them, come in a frosted malt cup with two spoons (no worrying about cooties here).
I tried the grown-up take on a cookie dough classic, the “Grande Finale,” which had a swirl of Berkshire Bourbon-soaked blueberries and golf ball sized cookie dough bits.
The booziest option, and therefore one of the more popular choices, is the “Mayday Mabry,” featuring Fernet Branca and Root Ginger Beer.
Unlike some decadent desserts and craft cocktails, the boozy milkshake is easy to make and, therefore, a great homemade treat. To get started, try the following taste tested and perfected ice cream-booze pairings.
If you are reading this, you are probably within walking distance to a J.P. Licks, as anywhere in Boston is walking distance to at least one of their locations, and Boston is a great city because of this fact. Lucky for you, J.P. Licks’ coffee Oreo ice cream paired with Johnnie Walker Black Label whiskey makes for a rich, smooth milkshake. In a blender, mix one pint coffee Oreo ice cream, four shots of whiskey, two shots whole milk, and a splash of coffee syrup. Split between two glasses, or stick a straw in the blender, and enjoy. Be sure to scoop up the bits of whiskey soaked Oreo pieces you’ll find at the bottom of your glass
Vegans are not excluded from the boozy milkshake phenomenon (no, this is not a reference to another John Travolta movie). FoMu alternative ice cream and cafe, in Jamaica Plain and Allston, uses coconut and nut milks instead of traditional dairy products to make their ice cream, and yes, they blend beautifully. In a blender, mix one pint mango habanero ice cream, four shots Parrot Bay coconut rum, and two shots vanilla flavored coconut milk. Again, split and sip.
A friend, after audibly moaning in delight, commented on this concoction:
“Goddamn, that is a pretty good fucking milkshake.”
FOMU. 481 CAMBRIDGE ST., ALLSTON. 617 CENTRE ST., JAMAICA PLAIN. @FOMU_ICECREAM. FOMUICECREAM.COM.
GRASS FED. 605 CENTRE ST., JAMAICA PLAIN. @GRASSFEDJP. GRASSFEDJP.COM.
JM CURLEY. 21 TEMPLE PLACE, BOSTON. @JMCURLEYBAR. JMCURLEYBOSTON.COM.
J.P. LICKS. VARIOUS LOCATIONS, BOSTON. @JPLICKS. JPLICKS.COM.