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Food and Drink Features

Spirited away

Chill out with tall, cool, liquored-up versions of the all-American milkshake this holiday season.

Angela Botzer November 20th, 2013

Since the first time the term milkshake appeared in a British weekly newspaper in 1885, the drink has gone through many transformations. Initially, it was an alcoholic drink made with eggs, whiskey, milk and ice cream, resembling eggnog. By 1900, however, chocolate, vanilla and strawberry syrups were introduced, sans the whiskey, creating a more familiar version.

A float, also known as an ice cream soda, usually includes ice cream, a carbonated beverage and flavored syrup.

However, when beer or spirits are added, it’s no longer for kids. Where can one go to sample some of these spiked milkshakes and floats in the Oklahoma City area?

The first stop, S&B’s Burger Joint, 102 W. Main St. in Norman (with additional locations in OKC), rocks out on its own with a wide assortment of beer floats.

“The most popular beer float here is the Wells Banana Bread Beer float,” said bartender Locke Grant.

This dessert-style beer is served with vanilla ice cream, and all floats are served in fluted glasses.

Other best-sellers are Young’s Double Chocolate Stout served with vanilla ice cream and Samuel Smith’s Organic Strawberry Beer float. This drink features an organic strawberry beer brewed at Samuel Smith Old Brewery, a small, independent brewery in North Yorkshire, England.

Bowled over 

For a spiked pumpkin pie milkshake, look no farther than The Basement Modern Diner, 200 S. Oklahoma Ave. Adjacent to RedPin Bowling Lounge, this spot boasts no fewer than five spiked milkshakes: vanilla bean with vanilla vodka, pumpkin pie with amaretto, grasshopper with crème de menthe, chocolate with Godiva Chocolate Liqueur and strawberry with vanilla vodka.

“The grasshopper is an interesting mix of ingredients and may even make your bowling score better,” said bartender Caleb Mitchum.

The pumpkin pie milkshake is made with amaretto, Captain Morgan Original Spiced Rum, cinnamon, spices and, of course, hand-dipped vanilla ice cream.

If bowling and drinking leave you hungry, pair the shake with natural-cut french fries, a retro twist on the usual fries and shake. This combination easily transports you back to old-fashioned soda fountain/bowling alley days.

While I sipped a pumpkin pie milkshake, my thoughts cut to the scene in the 2007 movie There Will Be Blood in which actor Daniel Day-Lewis’ oilman character, Daniel Plainview, shouts, “I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!” Need a conversation-starter? That quote was adapted from something said by New Mexico Sen. Albert Fall in 1924 during congressional hearings over the Teapot Dome oil-drilling scandal.


Next, stop by Republic Gastropub at 5830 N. Classen Blvd., where the signature float is the framboise.

“It’s made with Lindeman’s Framboise [a lambic or strong, sweet Belgian beer] and two scoops of Blue Bell ice cream,” said staff member Alisha Jannelli.

When poured, this raspberry beer creates a wonderful, pink froth on top. Pair this with the pub’s signature Just a Burger (with lettuce, tomato, red onion and mustard) or a chopped Caesar salad and settle back to watch a game on the big screens.

Other Republic floats include a pêche (peach) or a milk stout (vanilla ice cream and Guinness).

Brandy is dandy

Cheever’s Cafe, 2409 N. Hudson Ave., offers a brandy ice, a quaint, classic ice cream drink.

“People order it as a dessert pretty often,” said bartender Reed Hoppe.

Blended with brandy, Godiva Chocolate Liqueur, Kahlúa and vanilla ice cream, it is an ideal sipping drink for the afternoon.

Sit in the spot’s cozy bar area; with the rare and welcome absence of a television set, it’s a warm place for conversation. Autumn is the perfect time to sample these delightful concoctions, and don’t forget to bring extra straws with you.

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