Chocolate Bourbon Maple Bacon Milkshake

by kelly vass in

A rich, boozy milkshake made with chocolate bourbon and maple bacon vodka. Adults only, please.

chocolate bourbon maple bacon milkshake

One of my favorite things about experimenting in the kitchen is the power food has to blend memory and experience together. 

This week on the podcast, Autumn and I were making a special cocktail for longtime listener and fan of the show, Sarah. She's in grad school for her second Master's Degree and wanted a culinary-focused cocktail to get her through long study sessions and the stress that grad school brings. In trying to think of my own grad school experiences, I couldn't help but think of stressful, late-night binge sessions of aged stilton on club crackers and lots of ice cream. 

I don't have much reason for late-night stress-eating these days and thinking back to the all-night paper writing sessions made me glad that chapter of my life (and the anxiety it brought with it!) was over. 

As much as I'm a fan of night cheese and cheese generally, I wasn't about to put it in a cocktail, so I went to my next go-to late-night staple: ice cream. I went with coffee, both because it's a favorite flavor and because it represents the immeasurable amount of caffeine consumed while working on my Master's. In lieu of the guilty pleasure of cheese, I went with maple bacon vodka, which was given to me by Autumn back at Big Summer Potluck last year. And, to blend the flavors together, I brought a little bit of modern me to the picture with chocolate bourbon. Grad school Kelly didn't dabble in brown spirits, but nearly-30 Kelly has an acquired affinity for whiskey, bourbon and rye.

The chocolate bourbon I used was a reject of Whiskey Club, a selection that no one seemed to want to drink on its own. Rather, we best agreed that it would be better baked or blended into something and so here begins my experimentation (more to come soon, I promise!). At 25, I would have never joined a group dedicated to talking about brown spirits because I knew nothing about them and the thought of having to talk about something I knew nothing about scared the pants off of me. But, fast forward a few years and I now find myself joining clubs where I barely know anyone and taking classes on things I'm terrible at. I'm not sure when it took over or how it happened, but I'm thankful for this new-found insatiable urge to learn things I know little about and thankful that this milkshake reminded me of how much I've changed.

Chocolate Bourbon Maple Bacon Milkshake

serves 1 (or two to three shooter-size millkshakes)


  • 3 large scoops coffee ice cream
  • 1/2 ounce chocolate bourbon
  • 3/4 ounce maple bacon vodka
  • teaspoon of maple syrup
  • splash of milk (optional)
  • chocolate syrup for drizzling


  1. Combine all ingredients in a blender. Blend according to your blender's instructions. If too thick, add a splash of milk. If too thin, add a bit more ice cream.
  2. Pour milkshake into a martini glass drizzled with chocolate syrup.
  3. Enjoy!