For lots of us, milkshakes aren't just delicious—they appeal to our sense of nostalgia, too. They conjure up the days of soda jerks and drugstore fountains, or, for those of us too young to remember things like that, just remind us of the little joys of childhood, right down to the ritual final step of dragging your straw all over the cup's bottom to slurp and vacuum up every last drop. And, as summertime desserts go, it's hard to go wrong with milkshakes: They need no cooking and minimal prep time, and they allow for more creativity than a plain scoop of ice cream.
Speaking of getting creative, below are 12 recipes for milkshakes that do just that, from a Snickers-inspired creation to a raspberry-ginger number. Don't let the rest of the summer slip by without enjoying at least one.
Strawberry Mascarpone Shake
Juicy strawberries star in this simple but lovely pink shake, with mascarpone to add richness and fragrant vanilla bean to make it all sophisticated and grown-up.
Coffee Cabinets (Rhode Island–Style Coffee Milkshakes)
Homemade coffee syrup, coffee ice cream, and chilled coffee get blended together for a shake that'll undoubtedly put a spring in your step. Making your own coffee syrup leaves you in charge of the roast and level of sweetness, but you can also swap in a store-bought variety for convenience.
Amaretto Joy Milkshake
Why eat candy when you can drink it? Coconut cream and flakes, chocolate ice cream, sliced almonds, and a bit of amaretto blend to emulate the rich coconut–chocolate flavor of an Almond Joy. Emphasis on joy.
Better Than Snickers Milkshake
If you're more of a Snickers fan, this thick shake—close to a sundae, really—brings all your favorite flavors together. A blend of caramel ice cream, peanut butter, and cocoa powder, topped off with caramel sauce and chopped peanuts, it just might be better than the Snickers itself.
Peanut Butter Cup Milkshake
What's the one thing that could beat a Reese's Peanut Butter Cup? A Reese's Peanut Butter Cup in milkshake form. Butter pecan and chocolate ice cream give it a sweet and salty base, and peanut butter adds nuttiness.
Raspberry, Ginger, and Coconut Shake
Fresh raspberries and ginger combine with coconut milk ice cream for a creamy, fruity shake that isn't overly sweet or heavy. Its deep-pink color is beautiful to look at, too.
Boozy Blueberry-Maple Shake
Adding bourbon to milkshakes is nothing too new, but it's not every day you see a shake recipe that incorporates gin. In this one, the herby nature of the gin pairs surprisingly well with sweet blueberries, maple syrup, and vanilla ice cream for a nice adults-only dessert.
Spiked Thin Mint Milkshake
Now's the time to raid that stash of Thin Mints you started hoarding back in January: This milkshake unites the Girl Scout Cookie classics with chocolate and mint chip ice cream, cocoa powder, peppermint schnapps, and a splash of tequila. The result is a shake that's intensely Thin Mint–y, but not overly alcoholic.
Spiked Samoa Milkshake
Samoas, Caramel deLites, whatever you call them—they deserve the milkshake treatment. Combine rich dulce de leche ice cream with rum and coconut milk, then garnish with chocolate syrup and toasted coconut for a treat that's a little tropical and totally irresistible.
Spiked Tagalong Milkshake
The smooth peanut butter insides of a Tagalong are just calling out to be transformed into a creamy milkshake. For this grown-up shake, spike chocolate and butter pecan ice cream with bourbon, and add peanut butter and a bit of salt to give it a salty-sweet depth.
The perfect balance of orange sherbet, vanilla ice cream, orange juice, and milk yields a creamy, just-thick-enough milkshake to transport you to ice-cream-truck heaven.
Kefir Date Shake
The natural sweetness of dates lends a caramel-like flavor to this shake, transforming frozen yogurt and kefir into a not-too-sweet, but very special dessert.