Hot Cakes’ Oaxacan milkshake. Photo by Jim Henkens

Hot Cakes’ Oaxacan milkshake. Photo by Jim Henkens

Spiked Ice Cream Drinks Deliver a Chill Summer

These three shops reimagine childhood favorites for discerning adults.

The root beer float is a thing of summertime nostalgia, recalling joyful childhood afternoons, and maybe flashbacks to the lovable and carefree crew of Happy Days. It is also just the kind of fetishized indulgence ripe for a reboot in present-day Seattle, where we adults face social expectations to refine our palates, challenge our taste buds, and immerse ourselves in the world of more “sophisticated desserts.” So it’s no surprise that establishments around the city now offer adult ice-cream dessert drinks like craft-beer floats and spirited shakes that showcase the nuances of unexpected flavor pairings—with deliciously whimsical results.

Bluebird Microcreamery and Brewery produces artisan ice cream with flavors that change with the seasons, and they brew small-batch craft beers specifically with dessert treats in mind. Curious patrons are sure to enjoy Bluebird’s popular beer-float libations, featuring Theo Chocolate Milk Stout, Caffe Vita Coffee Porter, or “Split Personality” Bourbon-Banana Chocolate-Vanilla Stout—a unique collaboration with Elysian Brewing Company that the brewers plan to keep on tap throughout the summer.

While most foodies agree there are no strict rules for matching ice-cream flavors with their spirituous mates, Josh Reynolds, owner of Bluebird, does suggest a few guidelines for newbies. “The usual desired outcome of a beer float is smooth and rich. Try to stick to something dark and malty-er, and away from light and bitter.”

Another innovative Seattle-based foodie, Autumn Martin, owner of Hot Cakes Molten Chocolate Cakery, began creating boozy shakes and float flavors while writing her Malts and Milkshakes cookbook in 2011. Martin’s passion for adventurous dessert combinations prompted her to ask questions like “Are there classic cocktails that can be turned into a milkshake?” This inquisitive and experimental approach shaped the Hot Cakes menu, with drinks such as the Oaxacan Milkshake, with chocolate, chilies, and mescal, and the notorious house favorite, the Drunken Sailor—a creamy milkshake with housemade peanut butter-caramel and Jameson whiskey.

With four popular, family-friendly Seattle locations, Full Tilt Ice Cream also offers beer floats—but only as a “secret menu” option. Known for their new and vintage pinball arcade games and whimsical ice-cream flavors like Strawberry Basil, Peanut Butter and Jelly, and Coffee Oreo, Full Tilt parlors also carry a selection of local canned and bottled beers. While owners Ann Magyar and Justin Cline don’t explicitly advertise beer floats on the menu, employees are happy to whip one up. Try pairing a robust porter with Huckleberry Chip ice cream—and a few rounds of Pac-Man—for another of Seattle’s fun, eccentric, and distinctly adult summertime treats.

food@seattleweekly.com


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@seattleweekly.com.

More in Home

Google Images
Racial disparities in bike helmet law forces decision by King County health board

On Oct. 21, the King County Board of Health discussed striking down… Continue reading

t
SeaTac girl faces additional hit-and-run charges

Same driver who reportedly killed Maple Valley jogger also injured man in Des Moines

Geographic dispersion of Washington State Patrol commissioned personnel who lost their jobs Oct. 18. (Washington State Patrol)
Rather than get vaccine, nearly 1,900 state workers lose jobs

Exactly how many people will be out of work for ignoring Gov.… Continue reading

King County Courthouse adjacent to City Hall Park (courtesy of City of Seattle)
County council votes to take dangerous park out of Seattle’s hands

City Hall Park, next to the courthouse in downtown Seattle, has had multiple reports of crime.

stock image
Health care workers call on state’s hospitals to help mitigate staffing crisis

Health care workers unions claim hospitals have the resources to fix the issue.

File photo
Do you need to pay for your COVID hospital stay?

Washington state law requires hospitals to provide free care for certain income brackets.

Stock photo
State AG Ferguson leads effort supporting local journalism

Federal legislation offers tax credits to subscribers, businesses and news organizations

King County Councilmember Kathy Lambert (file photo)
Lambert removed from King County Council leadership roles

Lambert received backlash after her campaign used flyers that depicted her opponent as a puppet.

Most Read