Boozy Milkshakes: Bringing Everyone to the Bar

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With the increase in temperature this season, people are looking for ways to have fun and keep cool at the same time. With the nostalgic memories of enjoying a delicious milkshake as a youth, it was only a matter of time before there was a demand for it in our favorite adulthood beverage– alcohol.  

As we have grown, so has the selection of flavors at our hands to play with and add to these delicious libations. As some are using these “adult only” treats as a precursor to a night out or simply to fulfill that sweet tooth, you will usually find them as an accompaniment to a dessert menu at the end of your dinner. This extends from the diner down the road, to a new cocktail bar, to even your favorite restaurant. Now venues are being opened, concentrating purely on serving dessert for those who have a more discerning palate– that cannot be satisfied by the offerings of the traditional restaurant dessert menu.

Boozy Milkshakes of Seattle

Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery

Mezcal Shake at Hot Cakes | CREDIT: Hot Cakes

Mezcal Shake at Hot Cakes | CREDIT: Hot Cakes

One of the more favorable venues around Seattle, WA, that focuses purely in artisanal desserts is Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery. Starting out in 2008 making molten cakes, they soon found the niche for alcohol spiked milkshakes was an endeavor worth undertaking. Of the liquid gold offerings available at the venue, the more defining innovative flavor profiles of their Smoked Chocolate and Scotch Shake, along with the Mezcal and Caramel Shake seem to stand above the rest. Introducing the smoked flavors along with spirits, such as scotch and mezcal, are certainly enticing customers with flavors that are not being offered anywhere else.


Located a short walk around the corner from Hot Cakes, you will find a street food influenced diner by the name of Skillet. While enjoying some of their seasonal, local and inventive comfort food, you may want to wash it all down with a creamy milkshake. With some booze added, this milkshake will not only relax you, but it adds flavor to the drink and will inherently improve the overall experience. Snoqualmie ice cream is used, which was chosen specifically by the Executive Chef, the brand is able to accommodate any and all variation of flavors Skillet requests. A few of the delightful offerings include, “The Colonel Parker” named after Elvis Presley’s manager, which has vanilla ice cream, peanut butter, maple syrup and bourbon. If that doesn’t tickle your fancy, you may want to go for their Simplicity Shake, which consists of salted caramel and rum. These milky libations are frequently paired impeccably with one of Skillets locally sourced hamburgers or one of their feature Blue Shirt Specials, such as meatloaf, brisket or country fried steak.  As mentioned previously, these would also be fabulous as an after dinner drink or dessert.

These Grown-up Milkshakes are Trending Nationally 

Chocolate Milkeshake at Hot Cakes | CREDIT: Hot Cakes

Chocolate Milkeshake at Hot Cakes | CREDIT: Hot Cakes

This trend is certainly not localized to the Seattle area. Fittingly this trend has hit the East Coast diner atmosphere. In DC, you can find adult shakes on the menu at The Satellite Room. Make sure to have a look at their drinks menu, where you will find an assortment of alcoholic shakes. On that list you will find the Vincent Vega, made with Vanilla and Bulleit Bourbon, the Lucy Ricardo with chocolate and Johnny Walker Black and my personal favorite the Frank Costello, which mixes chocolate mint with Bushmills Irish Whiskey.

Once a month you can also stop into one of the higher end restaurants in Los Angeles called BLD. Branded, as “Milkshake Madness,” it is the creation of pastry chef Mariah Swan, which is an evening dedicated to our grown-up milkshakes and has become very popular with the locals. The creative offerings are added to the usual dessert menu and among them you will find such combinations as strawberry cheesecake with Benedictine, burnt caramel with whiskey or a bourbon pecan with Southern Comfort.

Just like during your childhood, milkshake classics are being offered at local restaurants. Some of these restaurants and bars are creating innovative combinations to seduce customers to order a boozy dessert or ice cream based cocktail. Restaurants are also using unique spirits to produce creative milkshake flavors and combinations, that in return creates a demand among customers.  

Not only are these perfect to offer in the warmer summer months, but also year round to feature seasonal fruits and flavors. The venues that are offering these “Adult Shakes” range from small diners, neighborhood restaurants, dessert only venues, and high-end restaurants.  Have you had a boozy milkshake, yet?