Alex has taught me the beauty of milkshakes. Before we met, I always preferred cookies or ice cream. But then he explained, “Milkshakes are like licking the cream off the top of a pail of fresh milk in a barn; fresh and delicious.” They’re the perfect sweet afternoon treat. Luckily, Tara from Seven Spoons agreed to share her favorite recipe (with a secret ingredient)…

The Best Milkshake You’ll Ever Have
By Tara O’Brady of Seven Spoons

It seems shameless that my best-ever milkshake recipe begins in the liquor cabinet. There’s good reason, though; when my folks returned from a trip to Cuba, they brought me back the most gaudily beautiful bottle of coconut rum. The stuff smells like summer holidays, and tastes like grown-up candy. And when it’s combined with ice cream, the trashy tipple is almost elegant. Turn that into a milkshake, and now you’ve got something dangerously addicting.

I like to keep the base fairly simple; a good amount of quality ice cream, fragrant vanilla and—here’s the kicker—mascarpone cheese for a fresh, bright tang.

From there you can take the flavor pretty much anywhere, but for this coconut version, you’ll need coconut milk and coconut rum, along with some toasted coconut. So much of what we associate with coconut’s taste is tied to its texture; you’ll be amazed by the difference a sprinkle of flakes can make.

I like to dribble a spoonful of chocolate syrup, not fudge, into each glass. Chocolate fudge would be too thick, too rich and just too much, but quality chocolate sauce has enough bitterness to give an edge to all the sweetness that’s here already. Cheers!

Recipe: The Best Coconut Milkshake
Serves 4 nicely, or 2 greedily

You’ll need:
2 tbsp. sweetened, flaked coconut
1/2 cup (125 ml) coconut milk
1/4 cup (60 ml) mascarpone, or full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
Seeds scraped from 1/2 a vanilla bean or 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Optional: 1 1/2 oz. coconut rum (or to taste)
2 cups (500 ml) firmly-packed vanilla ice cream
2 tbsp. (30 ml) chocolate sauce (here’s my favorite recipe)
Freshly whipped cream, to serve

In a small skillet over medium heat, toast the flaked coconut, stirring often, until it begins to crisp without taking on too much color, around 5 minutes. Remove coconut to a small bowl and set aside.

To make the milkshakes, process the coconut milk, mascarpone cheese, vanilla and coconut rum in a blender. Once smooth, add the ice cream and blend again until just combined.

To serve, drizzle the chocolate syrup between four glasses. Pour the milkshake into the glasses, topping with whipped cream and a sprinkle of the toasted coconut. Enjoy immediately.

This looks incredible! Thank you so much, Tara.

P.S. See more best recipes, including chocolate chunk cookies and chocolate ice cream.

(Photos by Tara O’Brady of Seven Spoons. Thanks to Shoko for helping with this series.)