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Spirited Cooking: Ice-Cream Cocktails

Thanks to weeks of scorching temperatures, all we want is ice cream and ice-cold cocktails. But why choose just one when you can have both—together?

Consider these adult treats that feature some tasty liquors as a reward for having survived sunburn, heatstroke and uncomfortably high humidity (not to mention exposure to hours of Olympic coverage).


We got Boston Globe columnist and America’s Test Kitchen contributor Adam Ried to share with us his recipe for a Peach Shake with Brandy and Nutmeg (pictured above). (It’s from the recently released paperback edition of his book, Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes.) The rich and easy-to-make concoction calls for milk, vanilla extract, nutmeg, peach jam, peach ice cream, peach sorbet and, of course, brandy. Forget chocolate or vanilla; this may be our new favorite flavor.

Not cool enough yet? Then try whipping up the Fernet & Chip Ice Cream and Mexican Coke Float from the summer menu at Sadie Kitchen & Lounge in Los Angeles. The drink, which incorporates the herbaceous liqueur Fernet-Branca, was created by Sadie’s director of spirits, Giovanni Martinez. It does require making your own ice cream, but it’s certainly worth the effort.

After a few sips of each cocktail, we’ve realized that this heatwave maybe isn’t so bad…

Peach Shake with Brandy and Nutmeg

Contributed by Adam Ried

  • 2 oz Whole or low-fat milk, cold
  • 2.5 oz Cognac or brandy
  • 1.5 tbsp Peach jam or preserves
  • .5 tsp Pure vanilla extract
  • .5 tsp Grated nutmeg
  • 4 medium scoops Peach ice cream (about 1 pint), softened until just melty at the edges
  • 4 medium scoops Peach sorbet (about 1 pint), softened until just melty at the edges
  • Garnish: Grated nutmeg
  • Glass: Soda fountain

Add all the ingredients except the ice cream and sorbet to a blender and blend thoroughly, about 15 seconds. Add the ice cream and sorbet and pulse several times. With the blender motor off, use a flexible spatula to mash the mixture down onto the blender blades. Continue pulsing, stopping and mashing until the mixture is well blended, thick and flows easily in the blender jar, roughly 30 to 90 seconds. Pour into chilled soda fountain glasses and serve at once. (This recipe makes about 3.5 cups.)

(Recipe adapted from Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes by Adam Ried. Published by Norton, 2012.)

Fernet & Chip Ice Cream and Mexican Coke Float

Contributed by Giovanni Martinez

  • 2 scoops Fernet & Chip Ice Cream*
  • 1 (12-oz) bottle Mexican Coca-Cola
  • Glass: Soda fountain

Add the ice cream to a soda fountain glass and pour the Coca-Cola over it.


*Fernet & Chip Ice Cream
  • 20 to 30 Chocolate mint leaves, bruised
  • 12 oz Whole milk
  • 500 mL (about 17 oz) Fernet-Branca
  • 1.25 cups Sugar
  • 24 oz Heavy cream
  • .5 to 1 cup Dark chocolate chips

Combine the mint leaves and milk, and infuse overnight in the refrigerator. Strain, discarding the mint. Add the Fernet-Branca to a saucepan and cook over medium heat until reduced by half. In a large bowl, whisk together the reserved milk, reduced Fernet-Branca, sugar and cream. Freeze as directed in an ice cream maker, adding the chocolate chips once the mixture begins to solidify.

(Photo courtesy André Baranowski, from Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes by Adam Ried)

Series & Type: TrendsSpirited Cooking

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