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Bourbon Vanilla and Chocolate Milkshake

A bourbon vanilla and chocolate milkshake arguably isn’t a real cocktail as most people define the term, but it is delicious. Here’s what you should know about this drink!

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About and History

Nobody can agree on when the bourbon vanilla and chocolate milkshake first entered the scene, but it probably wasn’t too long after milkshakes themselves were created in the late 1800s.

The recipe we know most likely came about in the early 1900s when milkshakes changed from their original eggnog-like style to the ice cream recipes we know and love today. People made the earliest milkshakes with whiskey, and it’s not hard to imagine that at least some of the recipes used whiskey’s close cousin bourbon.

The oldest recipes probably used cocoa powder or chocolate chunks for their flavor, but some places might have turned the cocoa powder into a homemade syrup before adding it to drinks. In the years since, the bourbon vanilla and chocolate milkshake typically uses premade syrups.

Unlike some other drinks, this milkshake doesn’t have a standardized and regular recipe. That’s another reason why some people don’t consider it a real cocktail. For that matter, people might use many different types of ice cream or syrup for flavoring, and that leads to even more variety in the final taste.

For this recipe, however, we’ll be using bourbon as a fairly significant ingredient instead of a mild flavor enhancer. However, we recommend making it with about half as much bourbon the first time you enjoy this recipe. See how you like the flavor with that much bourbon, then add the rest and remix the drink if you want a stronger beverage.


For this recipe, you’ll need:

  • 2 cups of vanilla ice cream (variations like vanilla bean also work)
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 4 tablespoons chocolate syrup, divided
  • 6 ounces of your preferred bourbon

Serves: 3

Directions to Make

Place three freezer-safe pint glasses in your freezer about 30 minutes before you start mixing your drink. This will help ensure your milkshake remains cold after you make it.

Next, add the ice cream, the milk, and three tablespoons of chocolate syrup to your blender. If this is your first time making the recipe, add half the bourbon. If you’ve already tried that and you know you like the full force of the bourbon, add all of the alcohol instead.

Add two large ice cubes and blend your drink until it’s smooth. At this point, it’s time to check the consistency. If your milkshake seems too thin, add another half a cup of ice cream.

Once your drink has the right consistency, pour it into your chilled glasses. Top with the remaining chocolate syrup, adding more to taste if needed, and serve.


People have different preferences for milkshakes, so there’s a lot of room to modify this recipe at home. Changing your ice cream and syrup choices can immediately provide richer flavors, and it’s worth getting premium ice cream if you can. You can also use different styles and amounts of bourbon.

Even small amounts of bourbon go well with this drink, so you can add as little as a tablespoon.

Try to avoid substituting anything else for the whole milk, though, as it can leave your milkshake watery.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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My Bartender

Written by My Bartender

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