The Best Boozy Milkshakes In The US

Whether it's a sweltering summer day or a chilly winter afternoon, there's never a wrong season to start screaming for ice cream. Cravings for cool and creamy sweet treats are a constant, and for adults looking to combine drinks and dessert, this means ice cream with a little something extra. Boozy milkshakes fill the bill as both a creamy cocktail and a drinkable dessert that taps into Americana nostalgia with its playful twist on the classic drink. Across the country, you'll find inventive flavors and garnishes that aren't on your typical kid-centric milkshake menu.

Boozy ice cream is its own category of comfort food, and new versions — like this new float from Serendipity3 — are popping off across the country. But liquor-laced milkshakes offer a fun twist on the frozen concoction. Sure, standard alcohol-free milkshakes are a superb snack, but spiking these creamy concoctions with the likes of whiskey, tequila, rum, and flavored liqueurs elevates them from drive-thru nostalgia to decadent, dessert-y cocktails. Boozy milkshakes come in a variety of flavors, forms, and colors, from tipsy versions of classic childhood flavors to exciting contemporary creations that infuse unexpected ingredients like Fruity Pebbles and whiskey-glazed donuts. When you're looking to cool off with your next pick-me-up, give these epic milkshakes a slurp.

Cookie Monster Creamtail at Boozy Ice Cream Barlor - El Paso

What do you get when you combine an ice cream parlor and a bar? An ice cream barlor! The novelty notion is a great beat-the-heat concept in El Paso, a sweltering west Texas city where a cool hit of ice cream is always welcome. Boozy Ice Cream Barlor is a whimsical, adult-centric cafe that uses liquid nitrogen to make its ice cream and then spikes it with alcohol and eccentric, playful infusions.

Here, boozy shakes are called "creamtails," and they come in a dazzling variety of fun and wild flavors, like Napa Wine (made with cabernet sauvignon, fudge, black cherries, chocolate chips, whipped cream, and jalapeños), Tipsy Flamingo (tequila, Cointreau, margarita cream, and lime zest), and Cinnamon Toast (Fireball whisky, Rumchata, Cinnamon Toast Crunch cereal, and whipped cream). The real people-pleaser, though, is the colorful Cookie Monster, a sweet treat made with cookies-and-cream ice cream and spiked with Malibu Coconut rum. It's finished with whipped cream, cookie crumbs, and an extra Oreo for optimal dunking. Unlike a typical milkshake, Boozy Ice Cream Barlor serves its concoction in a cocktail glass. Another bonus? They're open late, making it the ultimate nightcap destination.

Bushwacker at The Sandshaker - Pensacola, Florida

A truly Floridian version of a boozy milkshake, the bushwacker has become a summertime staple — especially around Pensacola. Rich, creamy, and chocolate-y, it's a veritable rite of passage for panhandle visitors, with numerous bars and restaurants offering their own twists and iterations on the classic. First created in St. Thomas (via Edible Northeast Florida), the bushwacker was then refined and popularized at the Sandshaker Bar, where it remains a tried-and-true hot weather tradition for both residents and visitors alike.

Other area watering holes, like Flora-Bama and Bamboo Willie's Beachside Bar, offer their own versions, but the Sandshaker introduced it to the panhandle area back in 1975 where it quickly gained popularity. It's made with cream of coconut, Kahlua, Bacardi black rum, creme de cacao, half and half, and vanilla ice cream, offering a milkshake-like drink that's sweet, decadent, deceptively boozy, and way too easy to drink.

Irish Coffee Shake at Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats - New Orleans

Irish coffee is a staple sip in booze-loving New Orleans, as evidenced by the rampant popularity of such French Quarter spots as Erin Rose, where frozen Irish coffee is a summertime balm (via Imbibe Magazine). For a new, novel take on the tipsy tradition, check out Gospel Coffee and Boozy Treats, a chic cafe located inside the Kimpton Hotel Fontenot. The concept? All the drinks on the menu can be spiked, including the shakes — a notion that feels very true to New Orleans culture.

In addition to inventive originals — like a vegan matcha freeze made with matcha, oat milk, hazelnut, baking spices, and rum; or Abita root beer floats splashed with tequila or Baileys — they offer Irish coffee shakes that steal the show. Made with Jameson, espresso, Kahlua, and vanilla ice cream, they're deliciously simple, packed with flavor, and served in a vintage-looking milkshake glass with a crown of fresh, fluffy whipped cream.

Lime Margarita shake, Bar Milagro - New York City

For a boozy milkshake with some serious panache, head to Williamsburg newcomer Bar Milagro. Nestled underneath Mexican restaurant Xolo, this is an intimate and cozy basement bar with an eclectic and whimsical drink list that's focused on mezcal and tequila. In addition to agave-centric cocktails, the menu also includes boozy, spiked milkshakes (via Greenpointers) served up in cocktail-worthy style.

Flavors include Mexican chocolate (with your choice of mezcal, tequila, bourbon, or rum) and piña colada, but the most refreshing quencher is the lime margarita. It takes the classic margarita formula — tequila, Cointreau, lime juice — and blends it with fresh vanilla ice cream, creating a drink that is at once tart, tangy, sweet, and silky. It's then poured into a dainty stemmed cocktail glass that's garnished with a plume of whipped cream, a sliver of fresh lime, and a flaky wafer cookie. Not only is it tasty, but it's one of the prettiest — and most Instagram-worthy — shakes you'll find. 

Blume Berry, Blume Burger - Philadelphia

Childhood nostalgia is a great source of inspiration for different flavors of booze-infused milkshakes. Raising the bar on the nostalgic burger-and-milkshake combination, Blume Burger is an eatery in Philadelphia's Rittenhouse neighborhood that complements its wacky, over-the-top patties with a drink list that's heavy on the boozy milkshake concoctions (via Wooderice).

By toying with familiar flavors, the spiked shakes at Blume Burger do double duty as decadent cocktails and utensil-free desserts. Leaning heavily into creations that evoke classic Americana flavors, you'll find all manner of spiked creations on the menu including red velvet and bourbon-splashed peach cobbler and the charming Blume Berry. With a flavor that tastes similar to fruity cereal milk, this cheery, pretty-in-pink sipper is made with strawberry ice cream, strawberry syrup, and Smirnoff blueberry vodka, before it's garnished with a dollop of airy whipped cream and a smattering of colorful Fruity Pebbles.

Pink Squirrel, The Pink Squirrel - Chicago

It doesn't get more retro-cool than The Pink Squirrel, a pink-hued bar in Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood that takes cocktail kitsch so seriously, it's named after a boozy milkshake. With decor and drinks inspired by old-fashioned, mid-century Midwestern supper clubs (via Eater Chicago), the whimsical watering hole features a small duckpin bowling alley (a type of old-timey bowling with smaller pins, per Bill On The Road), cozy vinyl booths, shareable punch bowls topped with adorable rubber duckies, and of course, spiked shakes.

The star attraction on the menu is the bar's namesake cocktail, the Pink Squirrel. After getting its start in Milwaukee's Bryant's Cocktail Lounge (via Difford's Guide), it's the perfect, prettiest sipper for a bar modeled after Midwestern drinking traditions. One of the OG boozy milkshakes, the Pink Squirrel is made with vanilla ice cream, white creme de cacao, and creme de noyaux, an almond-flavored liqueur (via Cocktail Party App). Poured into a chic little cocktail glass, it's finished with a spritz of fresh whipped cream and, like any proper milkshake, a cherry on top.

Frisky Whiskey, Donut Distillery - Nashville

As if milkshakes weren't decadent enough, how about a milkshake blended with donuts ... and spiked with booze? After getting its start as a food truck, Nashville's crafty Donut Distillery opened a permanent restaurant and started slinging milkshakes in addition to offering its popular donuts. It was only a matter of time before they began combining the two and adding alcohol to the mix (via Narcity).

The spiked shakes are made by pureeing two mini donuts with two ounces of liquor and dairy-free ice cream. There's a bevy of fun shake flavors to choose from, like the Tootie Fruity (frosted fruity donuts blended with vodka) and the Pirate in the Sand (Nutella-and-cinnamon-sugar donuts blended with spiced rum). If you're going to try only one, order the Frisky Whiskey, a decadent homage to the Volunteer State that features Tennessee whiskey, two whiskey-glazed donuts, and vanilla ice cream. The shakes are then topped off with whipped cream and an extra donut for good measure.

Boozy Caramel shake, Lizzy's Burger Bar & Grill - Savannah

A surefire way to beat the infamous Georgia heat in the summer, milkshakes are the play at comfort food haunt Lizzy's Burger Bar & Grill. Decked out in pure Americana, the restaurant features a menu of smashburgers, tater tots, nachos, and fried shrimp. It's a dreamy spot for no-frills comfort food in Savannah, with a something-for-everyone roster of sweet and savory snacks. This is also true of their indulgent — and super creamy and thick — milkshakes, including a few booze-infused selections.

For adults with a serious sweet tooth, these over-the-top shakes deliver the wow factor. A can't-miss flavor is the Boozy Caramel, made with locally-sourced Ghost Coast bourbon, vanilla ice cream, and a healthy drizzle of warm, salty caramel. Poured into a branded cup, the shake is topped with a hearty cloud of whipped cream and garnished with a piece of crunchy caramel brittle.

Campfire S'mores, Holsteins - Las Vegas

Seeing as s'mores and milkshakes are two of the most iconic and nostalgic summertime snacks, it makes perfect sense to combine them into one epic dessert — and then spike it with marshmallow vodka, of course. It's a prime example of the delicious excess Las Vegas is known for, and you can find it in the Campfire S'mores shake at Holsteins. Located in The Cosmopolitan, the restaurant plays with whimsical riffs on American comfort food staples and offers a wide array of inventive spiked milkshakes.

Over-the-top in the best way possible, the Campfire S'mores shake is made with marshmallow vodka, graham crackers, chocolate sauce, chocolate balls, and chocolate-covered graham crackers. Poured into a tall glass and piled high with garnishes, it's topped with vanilla frosting, graham cracker crumbles, and a whole toasted marshmallow. Unabashedly sweet and rich, it's a spiked shake that'll transport your taste buds to a crackling campfire. In short, it's an intoxicating sip of summer.