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(Milk)shake It Off

Big Gay Ice Cream builds a better milkshake
Chocolate Peanut Butter Milkshake
Video and Photos: Dave Katz, Lizzie Munro/Tasting Table

Doug Quint's milkshake is better than yours.

In 2009, Quint and Big Gay Ice Cream partner Bryan Petroff began trucking their frozen wares around New York City, using social media to let the ever-growing cult of followers know where they'd be parking. By 2011, BGIC opened their first storefront shop in Manhattan's East Village, followed by a West Village location the next year. Their first order of business: putting shakes on the menu.

Though the duo had always been big fans of the slurpable treat, they took too much time to blend in the back of the truck—inefficient for the volume they would inevitably have to churn out. After one season, they were off the menu, and the BGIC boys spent the meantime scheming about what their ideal milkshake flavors would be and how they would be served. Among the winners were a salty caramel shake based on their best-selling Salty Pimp cone; a Nutella shake, which Quint says has gotten a massive response ("People tweet at us all the time that it's better than sex. Which...I worry for them."); and a chocolate-peanut butter number that has customers quaking at the knees (see the recipe).

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BGIC stores stock peanut butter for special requests, but it's generally not on the menu due to allergy concerns. When one customer kept begging for a chocolate-peanut butter shake, Quint finally relented, telling him, "You have to promise that if you don't like it, you're not going to go on Yelp and bitch about me, because it's an experiment."

Not only was the mash-up a success, it went on the menu that day and became Quint's favorite shake at the shop. "It's probably the most extreme thing we'll ever do. It's really, really decadent," he says.

The recipe has just four ingredients—milk, chocolate syrup, chocolate ice cream and smooth peanut butter—but they whir into a soul-satisfying blend that's best paired with a nap.

To enhance your milkshake experience, Quint suggests a few simple things. First, chill a drinking vessel. The shake cup itself works just fine, or you can put a pint glass in the freezer for 30 minutes before pouring. While you're at it, stick a metal straw in the freezer alongside the cup for ideal sipping. Sixteen ounces is the maximum size they make in the shop, seeing as anything else is "so heavy they make your belly feel like it has a cinder block in it."

Per the new Big Gay Ice Cream cookbook ($25), the shake can be topped with anything you'd like: "cherries, whipped cream, shaved chocolate, Lipitor...;" whipped cream is a must for Quint. "It's another additional fat blob, so if you're gonna go have a milkshake, which is already going to kill you, live it up," he says. But when it comes to mix-ins, he'd rather eat a bag of M&Ms and have a milkshake, too. "That's a proper gluttonous way to do it."

Oh, and booze. Quint's particular poison: bourbon with vanilla, Grand Marnier or Cointreau with chocolate. "It makes me sad that neither of our stores has a liquor license, because people would be waddling away after milkshakes," he says.

Spike it, top it, slurp it—just make sure you have a soft surface to crash onto afterward, because this frosty treat is gonna shake up your world.

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