Booze Up Your Favorite Childhood Ice Cream Treats

Here’s how to add a splash of booze to everything from sorbets to sundae sauces
Boozy Cereal Milk White Russian Shake

Christina Tosi at Momofuku Milk Bar shows us how to make a boozy Cereal Milk White Russian Fancy Shake, with cereal-infused ice cream. Produced by Jessica Chou.

Many of us have spent our weekends cursing the sauna-like weather in our hometowns, so it’s safe to say that ice cream, sorbet, and other frozen treats are godsends in the hot temperatures. Mix in a little booze, and we may have everything we’ll need to survive the rest of the summer.

But of course, adding alcohol to your ice creams and sorbets isn’t exactly easy — too much booze and the creamiest vanilla could melt down into the custard it was before it was frozen; too little, and you might as well forget about reaching that perfect point of tipsiness when you stop caring about the weather. And in all these concoctions, you’re going to want to add a touch more sugar than normal.

So we chatted with pros in the alcohol vs. ice cream field, vetting the rights and wrongs of turning your favorite kid treats into adult concoctions. Christina Tosi from Momofuku Milk Bar shared her tips for creating fancy alcoholic milkshakes, while Matt O’Connor behind The Icecreamists cookbook (and that holy water absinthe ice pop) and Chris Hopkins, mixologist at The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, chimed in on how to make shakes, sundaes, and ice pops all boozy enough to require an ID check. Each ice cream concoction on The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas’ menu has enough alcohol for a full drink, after all.

The trick to all of these, however, is pairing the flavors correctly. Going the fruity route? Try some spiced rum, or vodka and gin that complements rather than competes. Or if you’re headed a bit darker, with dark cherries, or perhaps apples, go with bourbon or Scotch. And since it’s summer, it never hurts to try a splash of rosé or champagne with stone fruits or strawberries.


Click through our slideshow to see how you can turn all your favorite childhood ice cream treats into adult ice cream cocktails, of sorts. Our favorite? Homemade alcoholic Dippin’ Dots. Just have some liquid nitrogen handy.