Milkshake Porn: 10 Beautiful, Boozy Milkshakes

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Milkshake Porn: 10 Beautiful, Boozy Milkshakes

Some talents are hereditary. Third generation chef, Joe Isidori, proves that cooking is one of them. A New York native, Joe graduated from The Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park in 1999, and since then has worked a variety of chef jobs, including acting as Donald Trump’s personal chef and launching various culinary establishments. His food feats have garnered enough reputation to receive Michelin Star recognition. In 2015, he opened the first of his series of Black Tap restaurants, which are not only regaled for their food, but their mind-blowing milkshakes.

These top-heavy shakes defy gravity—so sculptural, voluptuous, and colorful that they would make Michelangelo smile (both the artist and the turtle). The themes of the milkshakes vary, taking inspiration from the holidays, the seasons, and current culture. They are titans of milkshakes, bringing together a whimsical dreamscape, delightful taste, and the perfect amount of liquor. Paste caught up with Joe Isidori, getting a peak behind the curtain of this culinary sculptor.

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Paste: What came first: the milkshake or the booze?
Joe Isidori: The milkshake.

Paste: How do you balance the flavors of the milkshake with the liquor?
JI: We like to use darker, unctuous spirits. Like a Myers’s Rum, Elijah Craig bourbon — it helps to complement the sweetness and richness of the milkshake.

Paste: Take me through your process; when it comes to creating a new shake, where do you start?
JI: I start with the rim. I think about what do we want to use in the rim that will adhere to the rest of the garnishes and what the flavor profile will be. For example, for the peanut butter fluff milkshake we would start with coating the rim with peanut butter, followed by peanut butter fluff and then line marshmallows on top of the peanut butter and the fluff, using them as sort of an adhesive to make them stick. We would also incorporate items like Cracker Jacks and pretzel nuggets that would help give that sweet and salty twang people love so much. And then I would put salted caramel candy pieces directly into the shake to round it all off. And knowing those flavors all go well with bourbon, we’d add bourbon to help strengthen that milkshake.

Paste: How much trial and error is there?
JI: There’s not a lot of trial and error. We kind of just go with it and we let the customers give us their feedback. We taste the shakes internally after we make them and if we like it great, but it’s predominantly all based on customer feedback the first time the milkshake goes out to the public.

Paste: How long does coming up with a new shake take?
JI: If we’ve got a good idea, it takes about 20 minutes to come up with the shake. We think about what everybody wants and what our customers gravitate towards and we go from there. We don’t try to reinvent the wheel — classics like cookie dough and M&M covered chocolate pretzels, all of that is great starting material for us. We try to cater to the likes and dislikes of the crowd.

Paste: At the bar, how long does each shake take to make? Who makes them?
JI: It takes 10 minutes to make. In SoHo, our bartenders make them and at Black Tap Meatpacking, our pastry assistant makes them. SoHo and Meatpacking have different vibes. Where in SoHo it’s much more like an ice cream parlor, luncheonette feel, the bartenders are making the milkshakes right behind the bar at the milkshake station whereas at Black Tap Meatpacking, the kitchen is downstairs and it’s a much larger space.

Paste: Which one’s your favorite?
JI: The Cotton candy milkshake. Because my wife came up with it.

Paste: Which one has been the most popular?
JI: The Cotton candy hits everything in terms of sales, most ordered, most posted about on social media…

Want to try it at home? Chef Isidori shared one of his favorite recipes with us.

The Spiked Pumpkin Pie Milkshake

Ingredients
1 slice (6 oz.) Homemade Pumpkin Pie
2 scoops Vanilla Ice Cream
1 to 2 oz. Meyers Dark Rum
Maple syrup, pie crust, and whipped cream for garnish.

Directions: Combine pie, ice cream, rum, and maple syrup and blend together. Decorate with whipped cream, pie crust, and drizzle with maple syrup.

Madina Papadopoulos is a New York-based freelance writer, author and regular contributor to Paste. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.