This milkshake is what I want to be when I grow up: mostly innocuous on the outside, definitely more complex than anyone expected, sweet and down-to-earth at heart, but still scary to all the right people. If everyone understands you, you’re doing it wrong.
My lifegoals aside, the important thing to note is that September 12 is National Chocolate Milkshake Day. As it turns out, if you give me enough of a heads up, I can indeed get it together, blogging-schedule-wise, to celebrate such a worthy holiday in time.
If you know Fernet-Branca, perhaps you love it, perhaps it makes you a little nervous, or perhaps you hate it. I’m firmly in the first camp, but given the nature of ye olde F-B, any stance is understandable. It’s a bit of a punch in the face: herbal, strong, bitter. All of those characteristics, surprisingly enough, make it a superb addition to a milkshake, especially a chocolate one. Sweet and bitter flavors almost always benefit from one another, so we’re not even reinventing the wheel here. Anything more bitter than chocolate will make the chocolate sweeter and more indulgent. The fig is just a touch of seasonal sweetness with an earthy flavor that pairs nicely with anything herbal. The complete picture is sophisticated and decadent. I mean, look at this. Check out how smug it looks:
If you don’t happen to have fig jam around, orange marmalade would probably be a great option too — probably a little sharper and more bitter a flavor, and somewhat classic at the same time. Like one of those chocolate Christmas oranges, but spiked with Italian amaro. (If you try it, I want to know how it goes!) I went with figs this time because they’re killing it in the flavor department this time of year, which doesn’t matter when you’re just using jam anyway, but I can’t help but imagine some of you out there are getting your Martha game on, rolling up your sleeves, and canning/jamming/preserving everything in sight. If that’s the case and you have extra fig jam to spare, set aside a couple of spoonfuls, get yourself some ice cream and Fernet, and treat your industrious little self. Or be lazy like me. Everyone gets a shake on National Chocolate Milkshake Day!
High fives all around,
(Note: I was provided with some delicious booze and an ingredient budget for this post. As always, thoughts and opinions are my own, and I wouldn’t tell you to buy things I don’t like!)
- 2-3 scoops high-quality chocolate ice cream
- 2-3 tablespoons fig jam, depending on how sweet you like your shakes
- 1 1/4 ounces Fernet Branca
- 1-2 tablespoons milk (to thin shake if necessary)
- Whipped cream and chocolate sauce, for garnishing (optional)
- Combine ice cream, fig jam, and Fernet Branca in a blender and blend. If the mixture seems to be too thick, add the milk with the blender running. Serve immediately with your garnishes of choice.