Hard Milkshakes

These milkshakes are strictly for adults only. If, like me, you loved the Cocktail at Home craze of this Covid Year, you'll adore Hard Milkshakes. Just don't let the kids near them...

Hard Milkshakes

These milkshakes are strictly for adults only. If, like me, you loved the Cocktail at Home craze of this Covid Year, you’ll adore Hard Milkshakes. Just don’t let the kids near them…

A few years ago, I found myself in London by myself for one night. I was going to be spending a couple of days there with my Dad, but he wasn’t due to arrive up on the train until the following day. I was in a part of London I wasn’t very familiar with, it was winter, very dark, cold and wet. I needed entertainment, but I didn’t want to stray too far.

I opened up Google Maps to see what I could find. I saw some quite wonderful reviews for a two-screen cinema just a short walk from the hotel that seemed to be my idea of heaven: a great little movie theatre doing rave burgers (by all accounts), and with an interior that looked as though the entire place was licked in soft velvet in tones of mustard yellow, scarlet red and teal.

I grabbed my handbag and went out into the night. While I waited for the movie to start (I think it was Hamburger Hill – I do love a war movie), I ordered the burger with indecent amounts of blue cheese and French fries. At the bottom of the menu, I spied something called “Hard Milkshakes”… Obviously, I ordered one, and then ordered another one to take into the screen with me. Needless to say, I don’t remember much about the movie, except there was a line that could have won Cringiest Movie Line Ever and that the main actor did a lot of rope pulling and had very sore hands by the end of it.

The Hard Milkshake however…well, that has stayed with me ever since; and seeing as this Christmas is all about throwing out the rule book, I figured why stay tame with dainty little cocktails when you can unleash your inner punk and go all out brassy with a hard milkshake – or three…

I have two tips for this: Firstly, just stick with vanilla ice cream. You wanna taste the booze, so confusing the whole thing with fancy flavoured ice cream will cool the mood significantly. Secondly, use whatever booze you like – I mean you could even use stout if you wanted, and it would be rather festive! I like dark rum (especially a spiced dark rum), vodka, cherry brandy or something like a port cask aged whiskey.

Are you gasping? What am I at? Taking a beautifully crafted cask aged whiskey and firing it into a Milkshake? Yes, yes I have told you to do that. Now shut up and make one, and then you can come back and apologise to me properly.

Hard Milkshake – definitely not for kids…


  • Large handful of ice cubes
  • 150ml good quality vanilla ice cream (softened)
  • 60ml whole milk
  • 50ml of booze
  • Whipped Cream and garnishes (thick chocolate, cherries, crumbled cookie pieces etc – frankly, the trashier looking the better!)


Combine everything except the whipped cream and garnishes in a blender and blitz on a high speed until smooth.

Decant into a glass vessel of some kind (you could go completely rouge an pop it an old jam jar for instance), top with whipped cream and garnishes, land in a paper straw and flounce about the place drinking your Hard Milkshake completely in love with Christmas!

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