Spirited Cooking: Port, Chocolate, and Blackberry Milkshake Recipe

Spirited Cooking: Port, Chocolate, and Blackberry Milkshake Recipe

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.)

  • Yield:4 servings
  • Active time: 30 minutes
  • Total time:30 minutes


  • 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.