The Friday Tipple: Shake Shots

We’re feeling shaky, Boozers. The excesses of debate drinking games and watching baseball playoffs late into the night has left us somewhat out of sorts, and, while we know that the logical response would be total abstinence, we are lured by the seductive call of a fortifying “adult” milkshake. What could be more tasty than combining a full-fat ice cream with a little tot of distilled goodness?

Of course, the thing about a milkshake is that it can sometimes be too much of a good thing, at a time when all we require is a bit of a treat. Hence, the advent of Shake Shots. By starting with a simple vanilla shake base, you can build many different flavors: add a little fresh-squeezed orange juice, tequila, and a drizzle of grenadine for a Tequila Sunrise shake shot, or a tablespoon of chilled coffee and Bailey’s for an Irish Cream delight. We know you’re already planning a DIY Shake Shot bar for your next party.

For today’s Shake Shots, we made two shots with that vanilla shake base, adding freshly-grated ginger to one for a frosty version of the Dark ‘n Stormy, and adding some malted milk powder to another as a topping for a beer shake shot. For the third, we went seasonal and used our local Moorenko’s Pumpkin Ice Cream for the shake, to which we added a spicy shot of rye whiskey, courtesy of one of our favorite local distillers, Catoctin Creek.

The only limit is your imagination. Just watch out for the brain freeze.

Shake Shots

It seems insulting to your intelligence, dear Boozers, to tell you how to make a milkshake, but we will. Basically, put about 3/4 of a cup of vanilla ice cream in a blender with 1/4 cup of milk and start blending. You’ll need to add more milk slowly until it gets to the consistency you prefer; we’d suggest leaving it on the thicker side so that it doesn’t thin down too much when you add liquor to it.

for the Dark ‘n Stormy shot: Add about a 1/4 teaspoon of freshly-grated ginger to a 1/2 cup of the vanilla shake base. Pour into a shot glass, leaving about 1/2 inch at the top, then top with Gosling’s Black Seal Rum.

for the Beer shot: Add a teaspoon of malted milk powder to the vanilla shake base. Pour chilled beer (we went seasonal again, using Dogfish Head Punkin Ale) into a shot glass, topping with a large spoonful of thickened milkshake.

for the Pumpkin shot: Make a thick shake with pumpkin ice cream (you can substitute a pumpkin syrup with vanilla ice cream). Take a half-cup of the shake and add 1.5 ounces of rye whiskey. Pour into shot glasses and dust the top with unsweetened cocoa powder or ground nutmeg.

Seriously wicked pickled ginger syrup

So, we’re a little obsessed with infused simple syrups right now in the Good Booze kitchen. We acknowledge that an intervention may need to be staged at some point, but until then, just look the other way. A little sugar and water never hurt anybody.

You can walk into pretty much any restaurant these days and find a list of fancy cocktails of which at least one will, inevitably, feature a ginger simple syrup. So, we set out to make a standard ginger syrup until suddenly inspired by the giant bowl of fruit and vinegar currently marinating on the kitchen counter (keep an eye out for that recipe soon), which sent us running to the Asian foods section of the local grocery store in search of a jar of pickled sushi ginger.

The resulting syrup is luscious and peppery, with a distinct tang of vinegar. It will take a star turn in The Friday Tipple this week, but, more importantly, it would be amazing drizzled over creamy vanilla ice cream, as a spicy counterpoint to a rich flourless chocolate torte, or added to club soda for a homemade pickled ginger beer. And we’re pretty sure a spoonful of it might just cure the common cold.

Wicked Pickled Ginger Syrup

We used a raw sugar/cane sugar combination with this recipe, to help deepen the flavor and color. For the pickled sushi ginger, we used a piquant organic variety by The Ginger People, not the dyed-pink stuff that you usually see piled up next to the wasabi on your sushi plate. And don’t throw out the ginger pieces after you’ve strained the syrup — it’s candied pickled ginger gold! We put ours in the fridge and think they make a delicious addition to Greek yogurt and ice cream.

1 cup raw turbinado sugar

1 cup cane sugar

2 cups water

1 jar (6.7 ounces) pickled sushi ginger in vinegar

Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a rolling simmer, stirring constantly, then reduce heat to low and allow to reduce for about 30 minutes, until you get a slightly thickened syrup. Cool in saucepan, then strain into a jar or squeeze bottle. Kept refrigerated, it should last at least three months.