Comments: The milkshake grows up – and it's about time. Don’t worry, the book has recipes for vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry milkshakes, but then it gets interesting. Pineapple Foster, Cucumber Honeydew, Mocha Cardamom, Chocolate-Guinness Malted, Coconut Patty, and many others you've never dreamed of have been successfully added to the milkshake repertoire.
Every now and then you think author Adam Reid is about to get all fussy (as too many cookbook writers do), as when he says he's going to specify the vanilla ice cream you use. But what he really does is make suggestions for the type of vanilla you might want to use in a particular milkshake – French vanilla, custard, vanilla bean, natural, golden, double vanilla, plain vanilla, etc. – not the brand.
Reid's milkshakes get their flavor boost primarily from sorbets, which add enormous flavor to plain-Jane ice creams. He also makes judicious use of spices, herbs, nuts, seeds, oils, cultured dairy products, jams, preserves, fruit concentrates and oils, various fruits, and liqueurs and spirits (though there are many, many acceptable shakes for kids and teetotalers). There's also tons of information about milkshake history and lore.
These shakes are thick – almost nothing but slightly melty ice cream (and/or sorbet), a little milk or juice, and a little flavoring whizzed together. Nearly every recipe makes about 3-1/2 cups, but it is not entirely clear what is meant to be a serving size. Reid wisely leaves that to your discretion.
The biggest problem may be tracking down some of ingredients specified, including such off-the-beaten-track flavors as ginger ice cream and mango sorbet, as well as guava paste, and crème de marron (chestnut cream). Most recipes, though, do not send you off on wild goose chases.
(To be honest, we have such an affinity for chocolate milkshakes that we were prepared to intensely dislike a book that takes milkshakes in uncharted directions. But we just couldn't do it….)