Beer Milkshakes Are The Delightfully Boozy Way To Cool Off This Summer

Summer is the time for ice cream, and while a simple cone is always great, there's nothing like a milkshake to refresh and cool you down. But rather than stick to a standard flavor, why not give your shake a twist and add beer? Just like how the sweetness and effervescence of a glass of root beer works so well with ice cream, so do the unique tasting notes and bubbles in beer work with this adult version. Better yet, you can play with the level of sweetness in the drink depending on which brew you use, leading to a versatile boozy beverage with tons of flavor combos.

These adult milkshakes are super easy to make, and just call for combining beer and ice cream together in a standard blender or even with an immersion blender. You can also make them as boozy or as mild as you like. Stronger beers with a higher ABV will result in a stronger shake, but you could also try adding more or less beer. This will also impact how strong the hoppy, bitter, or bubbly flavor is in your shake. You can also play around with how your milkshake tastes by experimenting with different types of beers, ice cream flavors, and other mix-ins to create the grownup shake of your dreams.

Experiment with different beer and ice cream combos

The important thing to think about is the type of beer you'll use and how it will work with the ice cream flavor you'll choose for your milkshake. While vanilla can serve as a blank canvas that lets the flavors of every kind of beer shine through, you can  experiment with pairings that enhance more subtle tasting notes in your brew.

For instance, a coffee ice cream might work well with a stout beer, thanks to the malt, coffee, and cocoa notes in these beers (bonus points if it's a milkshake stout with creamy notes, too). Or, you could pair one of these brews with a chocolate ice cream for a rich combo that balances out some of the bitter notes in strong beers. A Guinness may also work in a boozy Shamrock shake — you could use vanilla and mint extract to create a mint ice cream or go with a mint chocolate chip that creates a frozen spin on Guinness' Chocolate Mint Stout flavor.

For lighter beers, such as a lager, you can play around with sweeter flavors. A Samuel Adams Boston Lager milkshake might do well with the caramel notes in dulce de leche ice cream, or you could swap this for butterscotch or butter pecan. Try a French vanilla to get a rich twist on a classic-style vanilla. As you choose the ice cream flavor to pair with your beer, think about the subtle tasting notes — hoppy, nutty, or even fruity — and choose an ice cream accordingly.

Other inclusions to mix into your beer milkshakes

Beyond just beer and ice cream, you can also play around with the flavor of your milkshake by adding in extra inclusions. For one, you could ramp up the coffee notes of a Porter beer milkshake, for example, by adding espresso. Or, add a chocolate touch by throwing in a handful of chocolate chips or a splash of chocolate syrup. You could also sprinkle in some malt powder to ramp up the toasty notes in your beer.

Experiment with adding fruit to your shakes. A Mango Cart wheat ale, for instance, works well with the addition of pineapple, mango, passion fruit, and other tropical fruits. These can highlight the real mango found in the beer and make for a fruity twist on your shake. Other options might be to play with mixing in nuts, syrups, or extracts to bring out other subtleties in your beer or add complementary notes. Hazelnut extract, for instance, would work well with a nutty brown ale. 

Finally, if you're more of a purist and just want to stick to beer and ice cream, you could also branch out by just making a beer float by using a stout beer poured over ice cream or experimenting with other beer styles. Whether it's a shake or a float, mixing beer and ice cream is the perfect adult summer treat.