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A Boozy Milkshake

December 27, 2021 by Ginger Hultin MS RDN

Our Christmas party menu this year included a Brandy Alexander and a couple of other blended holiday drinks, so I knew that I needed to share this one with you as the snow flies outside today. If you take one look at this and say: “I can’t see myself drinking a boozy chocolate milkshake with whipped cream on top”….think again! Like all my recipes, I’ve adapted this one so it’s just a little bit lighter and can absolutely fit into your holiday celebrations AND health goals.



This boozy milkshake is actually a twist on a classic drink: Brandy Alexander. A cousin to other chilled sweet drinks like a chocolate martini, Brandy Alexanders are simple as well. Take one part brandy, one part creme de cacao, and one part cream (or ice cream or milk of some sort). Here’s more about the ingredients and how the original came to be.

Using Brandy

I think brandy is underrated. The most I’ve ever enjoyed it was drinking Old Fashioneds while living in the Midwest (I do have a recipe for a kombucha-based Old Fashioned recipe on the blog!). However, brandy is used in a lot of classic cocktails! The Sidecar, Manhattans, and even punches often feature this classic spirit. If you want to use something different, consider whiskey or even gin in this Boozy Milkshake you’re about to make.

Using Crème de Cacao

Crème de cacao is a liqueur that you should have as part of your home bar set-up. A bottle will last you a really long time because you’ll only really use it in chocolate-flavored drinks. If you need an easy substitute for this Boozy Milkshake recipe, consider using Kahlua or even Baileys, which will also give you that dessert-style flavor needed to make this recipe taste like a real treat.

History of the Brandy Alexander (aka Boozy Milkshake)

Like so many classic drinks, there’s some debate as to when the Brandy Alexander came to be. It was likely created in the early 1900’s by a New York hotel bartender. One important difference is that a Brandy Alexander is shaken and not blended. I really wanted to make a milkshake-style cocktail to sip in the wintertime, so here’s my twist – I hope you enjoy it!

Making a Boozy Milkshake

This is a 5-minute recipe that you can make in batches and can also easily adapt to be non-alcoholic (hey, that’s just a regular chocolate milkshake then!).

Grab your blender and simply add the brandy and crème de cacao (like the Brandy Alexander – one part each). Then, top it with the ice cream and milk and blend for 10-30 seconds until it’s a milkshake consistency.

Let’s talk about substitutes and options:

Ice Cream and Milk
I like to use a couple scoops of regular vanilla ice cream (I love a good vanilla bean style!). You can also use a non-dairy alternative like an almond or coconut vegan version. Alternatively, you could make this MORE chocolatey by using chocolate ice cream instead. Just be sure not to use one with nuts or other chunky items because they won’t blend well. The liquor is the flavor here, so you do want that to be able to shine through in the drink. If you want to lighten it up, use less ice cream and more milk.

A classic Brandy Alexander uses cream, but in order to make a milkshake, you need more quantity- so cream is fine but it will just be a very rich beverage with a lot of saturated fat. If you want to lighten it up a little, use a 2% milk option or stick to a higher fat plant-based milk like unsweetened soy or oat milk.

If you’re cutting the ice cream back, consider using a little ice (say 2-4 cubes) to thicken up the milkshake.

Whipped Cream
I kind of love that old-school canned whipped cream, but of course, you can whip up your own from heavy cream and powdered sugar or again, you can easily use a vegan version. If you want to lighten this up a little bit, feel free to omit the whipped cream altogether.

This is the fun part! I love to do a little whip and then grate fresh nutmeg and dust the top with pure cocoa powder. This boozy milkshake is SO delicious that you’ll be in danger of downing the entire thing quickly. I find that when cocktails are served with intention and beauty – special glasses, thoughtful garnishes – that it increases mindfulness and boosts enjoyment. You’re definitely going to want to savor this beautiful holiday adults-only milkshake!

If you enjoyed this cocktail and are looking for more cocktail recipes, check out my:

Healthier Creme Champagne Cocktail

Hazelnut Coffee Champagne Cocktail

Christmas Tree Pine Cordial Cocktail

Lillet Cocktail with Seltzer

Sparkling Plum Basil Cocktail

Apple Cider Wine Spritzer

Boozy Milkshake

This spin on a classic Brandy Alexander is a rich, creamy, boozy milkshake for the holidays.
4.84 from 6 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Beverage, Dessert, desserts
Cuisine: American, Americana
Keyword: boozy milkshake, chocolate milkshake
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2
Calories: 414kcal


  • 2 oz brandy
  • 2 oz crème de cacao
  • 2 scoops vanilla ice cream (a vegan version is fine!)
  • 1/2 cup milk of your choice (full-fat, 2%, or non-dairy)


  • 1/4 cup whipped cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking cocoa


  • Blend the brandy, crème de cacao, ice cream, and milk in a blender.
  • Pour the mixture into two glasses and top with whipped cream, nutmeg, and cocoa. Serve immediately and only to folks 21+ years of age.


Calories: 414kcal | Carbohydrates: 41g | Protein: 5g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 9g | Cholesterol: 59mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 38g
Tried this recipe?Mention @champagnenutrition

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Ginger Hultin,MS, RD, CSO

Integrative nutrition specialist helping clients navigate complex health conditions to reduce inflammation and feel better.

Thanks for visiting! If you're struggling with a cancer diagnosis, autoimmune condition, gut health problems, or even a medical mystery, nutrition can make a HUGE difference in your day-to-day life. I run a virtual, concierge private practice where I partner with my clients over time to help them improve their health through nutrition. Be sure to visit the blog for easy, plant-based, anti-inflammatory recipes and our "Resources" page for a variety of self-paced programs, books, e-books, and nutrition podcast episodes.

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