Spirited Cooking: Port, Chocolate, and Blackberry Milkshake

This blackberry milkshake begins with a Port Chocolate Syrup. Port is a fortified wine from Portugal's Douro Valley. It comes in many styles; I've used ruby port in this recipe for its smooth, fruity sweetness and its vibrant ruby hue. The combination of reduced port and blackberries tastes like a big, full-bodied, jammy red wine. The chocolate plays a supporting role, offering extra depth and richness.

While I love this milkshake with the texture of the blackberry seeds included, I know not everyone is hip to that crunch. If you're a non-seedy person, another option is to continue cooking the blackberries and sugar until they are very soft and mushy, then press the juice through a fine mesh strainer, discarding all unwanted seeds.

Note: The milkshake only requires a few tablespoons of syrup, but the recipe yields one cup. Use the extra to drizzle over scoops of coffee ice cream or chocolate cake, or even swirl it into a batch of brownies. Store tightly covered in the refrigerator and gently reheat in a saucepan or microwave to use.

About the Author: Caroline Ford is a food stylist, food writer, and recipe developer in Portland, Oregon. In this column she'll be sharing recipes that feature a wide variety of spirits and liquors (plus beer and wine.)

Spirited Cooking: Port, Chocolate, and Blackberry Milkshake

About This Recipe

Yield:4 servings
Active time:30 minutes
Total time:30 minutes
Special equipment:Blender


  • For the Port Chocolate Syrup:
  • 1 cup Ruby Port
  • 1 teaspoon freshly grated orange zest
  • 5 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup finely chopped dark chocolate (60-70% cacao)
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
  • For the Shake:
  • 10 ounces frozen blackberries
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 4 cups good-quality store-bought or homemade vanilla ice cream
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 tablespoons Port Chocolate Syrup (recipe below)


  1. 1

    For the Port Chocolate Syrup: Combine port and orange zest in a small saucepan over medium heat. Simmer until the liquid is reduced to 1/2 cup, 5 to 10 minutes. Reduce heat to low, slowly add butter and chocolate, stirring frequently until completely melted. Remove from heat and add vanilla extract. Set aside for milkshake.

  2. 2

    To make milkshake, place blackberries and sugar in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Cook until sugar is dissolved and fruit begins to soften, 3 to 5 minutes. Add berries to blender along with ice cream, milk, and 3 tablespoons of the Port Chocolate Syrup. Blend on high speed until fully combined, scraping down the sides as needed. Immediately pour into glasses and serve.

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