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The $5 Milkshake

Summer cocktails are typically light and fruity and have fresh herbs like mint. They are colorful, light and refreshing, and easy drinking—think mojitos, margaritas, white sangria. But this summer I’ve turned to a different kind of warm weather cocktail that is quintessentially summer—milkshakes with a kick and cocktails made with ice cream and sorbet. While these indulgent drinks aren’t a new concept, I have been noticing more of them on menus at eateries across London.

Dining at an Italian restaurant called Fornata, instead of opting for a dessert, I chose one of the restaurant’s four summer cocktails made with ice cream. I sipped on the “Campari Sorbet” made with Campari, orange juice and lemon sorbet, while my friend Stephanie, still feeling influenced by her recent trip to Italy, chose “Affogato Al Limoncello,” a Limoncello martini with a scoop of creamy lemon sorbet served with an Italian almond biscotti.

At another restaurant, this time an American-inspired barbeque place, The Big Easy Bar.B.Q and Crabshack, grown-up milkshakes caught my eye on the extensive drinks menu. The restaurant, which serves up classic American barbeque dishes and lobsters imported from Maine, kept the USA-theme going with its hard milkshakes. Among them is the “The Dirty Girl Scout” made with chocolate ice cream, Oreo cookies and peppermint schnapps, and the “Spiked Pirates of the Caribbean,” made with vanilla ice cream, Captain Morgan’s rum, fresh mint and coconut cream.

Film buffs will probably recall the scene from “Pulp Fiction” when Vincent Vega (John Travolta) takes the boss’ wife Mia Wallace (Uma Thurman) out to dinner and she orders the Durward Kirby Burger, bloody, and a $5 milkshake.

I recently visited a new American-inspired steak house in London called MASH (Modern American Steak House) that has its own version of the “5 dollar Milkshake” on its menu for £9.50 (about $15)—a must try for me. MASH puts its spin on the “Pulp Fiction” vanilla shake adding bourbon, amaretto, caramel and for garnish, salted popcorn. It’s served it in a wine carafe-style glass with, of course, a red-and-white-striped straw.

Burgers and shakes have been an American classic pairing for decades and remains a favorite among consumers—even abroad—and MASH takes that pairing to a premium experience.

In “Pulp Fiction,” Vincent questions the cost of Mia’s $5 milkshake and even after he tastes it, he admits that it’s good, but probably not $5 good (that was in 1994 by the way).

At a time when consumers are looking for that little something extra with their cuisine and their cocktails, this fusion of dessert and after dinner drinks offers just another option when dining out. Cheese plate, fruit, port or a milkshake with a kick—decisions, decisions.

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