Boozy Shakes by Victoria Glass

“Milkshakes just got drunk!” So says Victoria Glass as she tells us just why we should give the milkshakes of our childhood an adult makeover.

Take a moment to visit your past. Hark back to glee-filled childhood memories of immense sundae glasses of thick, creamy milkshake served with bendy straws – perhaps even a cocktail umbrella; balls of ice cream bobbing within, the shake surging over the edge as you stir, and sliding down the side of the glass. Or call to mind happy visits to American-style diners, where classic comfort food is perfectly paired with a gloopy vanilla or chocolat malt served straight to the table in a condensation-beaded stainless steel cup. Don’t such milkshake memories fill you with childish delight?

It’s all very well ordering a bottle of trendy locally-brewed beer, a G&T made with artisanal gin, or a shot of limited edition small batch bourbon but if those modern clichés no longer make your heart race with excitement, maybe it’s time to unlock the drinks cabinet and turn to the hard shake. Blending the nostalgia of retro milkshakes with ‘a hearty measure of hard liquor’, Boozy Shakes offer the best of both worlds.

In Boozy Shakes Victoria enthusiastically shares 27 recipes based on ‘favourite confections, cocktails, desserts and even music’. Whatever the occasion, she promises, you won’t ‘fail to find something to get your taste buds dancing’.

On a practical note, the luscious shakes are preceded with a set of basic recipes. Here you’ll learn how to make ice cream and sorbet; sauces such as chocolate fudge, whisky butterscotch and cherry, Swiss meringue, fruit compote and flavouring syrups. Then it’s on to the shakes themselves.

Start with The Candy Bar chapter, inspired by the wonders of a British sweet shop as well as some all-American candies. Rhubarb & custard not only tastes like the boiled sweet it’s named for, it looks the part too, with dollops of rich pink rhubarb compote swirled through a thick advocaat, rhubarb vodka and vanilla ice cream base. Chocolate orange shakes are far too grown up for Terry, with their alcohol hit of Cointreau and crème de cacao. From across the pond come Drunken s’mores – based on a campfire treat consisting of toasted marshmallow and chocolate sandwiched between graham crackers – imagine that in a glass!

Next up is The Cake Shop, a dessert-lover’s wonderland and a chapter close to cake maker Victoria’s heart. Victoria’s favourite hard shake is Black forest, based on the familiar chocolate-cherry gateau. Cookies & cream are a much loved ice cream flavour. Less obvious – and delightfully clever – are recipes for Tipsy Laird (based on a Scottish trifle), Key Lime Pie, Bananas Foster and Peach Melba. As Victoria points out, tongue firmly in cheek, these delicious shakes may not win prizes for nutrition, but at least the fruit counts towards your 5-a-day!

The Cocktail Shaker recipes look to the bar menu for stimulus, offering elegant hard shakes such as a spicy Aztec Margarita, a fizzy Dark & Stormy ice cream float and an indulgent Hazelnut martini, featuring Frangelico liqueur and Nutella.

Last is a chapter guaranteed to get you a-humming and amoving – if only to burn off the calories in these extravagant drinks; Shake Rattle & Roll brings the influence of Victoria’s favourite musical artists and songs to bear. The classic Piña Colada cocktail converts so easily to a boozy shake, it’s hard to imagine enjoying it any other way, dreaming of a tropical paradise Escape and singing along with Rupert Holmes. But the shake of the chapter must surely be The Elvis, based on Presley’s famous favourite, the fried banana and peanut butter sandwich; Victoria calls it “the king of hard shakes” – once tried it will be always on your mind!


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Kavey Eats received a review copy of Boozy Shakes from publisher Ryland Peters & Small.

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