Remember when boozy milkshakes were a thing? It was around the same time Flo Rida was rapping about Apple Bottom jeans, and boots with the fur, and how the whole club was looking at her. Fast-forward almost a decade, and liquor-filled dairy treats—not to mention boots with the fur—have all but disappeared completely.
But for the month of August, Westbound in downtown will singlehandedly jumpstart everyone’s excitement about spiked shakes again. Head bartender Dee Ann Quinones partnered up with Van Leeuwen Artisan Ice Cream and raised the boozy milkshake bar with her three very sophisticated desserts.
“I’d drink dessert over eating one especially if it has alcohol,” she says. “I think everyone knows that alcohol is an added extra calorie boost so if I had to decide between dessert and cocktail, why not have the best of both?!”
And these are the ways you’d want to finish a meal. Not milkshakes spiked with a couple ounces of hard booze, but crafted milkshake cocktails.
Award-winning Portland bartender Jeffrey Morgenthaler was the first to make you see the Grasshopper cocktail in a new light. By turning that minty green concoction into a shake and lacing it with Fernet Branca, he suddenly made them cool again. For her own not-green Grasshopper variation, the Grasshipster, Quinones blended together Van Leeuwen’s Mint Chip ice cream, Fernet Branca, crème de cacao and menthe.
If you’re a fan of tea cocktails, the London Fog shake is the way to go. Quinones played up the “English” style of the Earl Grey ice cream by adding Chef Gary’s own lemon sorbet, as one would add lemon to their tea, and serving it in a tea glass. “The creaminess of the ice cream lends to the idea of adding milk to the tea and obviously using London gin as the base,” she says.
Where there was something familiar about the previous two shakes, the Matcha Madness is completely new and different. Matcha with rye? It’s how you’ll want to spike your matcha lattes from now on. The Van Leeuwen vegan matcha ice cream’s depth of flavor stands up to the rye with the amaro rounding out the sweetness.