The High-Proof Alcohol That Takes Boozy Milkshakes To A Whole New Level

Next time you host a dinner party, consider elevating your dessert course with a round of boozy milkshakes spiked with the elusive spirit absinthe, also nicknamed the green fairy. This bitter anise-flavored booze is made with a mix of herbs and flowers including fennel and wormwood. Wormwood (aka Artemisia absinthium), is what gives absinthe its most infamous quality: its alleged hallucinogenic properties. However, this effect only occurs when consuming incredibly high amounts of absinthe, which would cause alcohol poisoning long before hallucinations. But the fear of what absinthe could do was enough to get the spirit banned in several countries in the early 20th century. It wasn't until 2007 that absinthe became fully legal in the U.S.

Absinthe is not bottled with additional sugar, which means it has a particularly potent flavor. Absinthe works in a variety of cocktails, but its bitterness pairs surprisingly well with a sugary, creamy milkshake. The herbal notes break through the heavier feeling of your typical milkshake. Absinthe complements sweet flavors like vanilla, pineapple, coconut, and other fruit-forward notes. In this case, the phrase opposites attract holds true, as this bitter-sweet flavor combination offers a diversity of tastes that'll elevate your dessert experience.

How to craft the perfect absinthe milkshake

Peche in Austin, Texas helped to pioneer the fad of combining milkshakes with absinthe. Their recipe includes using homemade vanilla ice cream, cherry liqueur, and of course, absinthe. To get the best ratios of flavors it is recommended to only use up to a single shot (1.5 ounces) of absinthe, to not overpower the flavors of the milkshake. If you choose to include other liqueurs or spirits you may wish to lower the amount of absinthe so that your milkshake isn't too boozy.

Other flavor combinations to try are piña colada-inspired milkshakes. Using coconut rum and pineapple ice cream with absinthe can give your grown-up milkshake tropical vibes. Or you could go for a strawberry shortcake-inspired milkshake by pairing absinthe with vanilla ice cream and strawberry liqueur. To make them, either use an immersion blender for your milkshake or a standing blender, and blitz until all your ingredients are combined. Garnish with whichever fruit you're using in the flavor. Another tip is to frost your milkshake glasses before serving, to keep your drink cold. Try experimenting by adding different liqueurs, ice cream flavors, herbs, and other ingredients to find your favorite combo.