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11 Restaurants With Boozy Milkshakes That Are Worth the Trip

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Want a cool treat with a little kick? Buckle up, because we found a selection of road trip-worthy boozy shakes. Yep, these delectable desserts have the decadence of ice cream—spiked with alcohol. Intrigued? Read on to learn which "adult" shakes are worth traveling to.

1. TED'S BULLETIN // WASHINGTON D.C.

No matter what your sweet tooth desires, there’s a boozy milkshake awaiting you at one of the Washington D.C. area's three locations of Ted’s Bulletin. From the Key Lime Pie shake spiked with coconut rum to the Grasshopper, which includes Kahlúa and crème de menthe, milkshake fans will find a variety of flavors and liquors.

2. THE ORIGINAL DINERANT // PORTLAND, OREGON

COURTESY THE ORIGINAL DINERANT

Diner fare gets an upgrade, thanks to the boozy shakes at The Original Dinerant. These drinks take their cues from classic cocktails, adding a decadent dessert twist; standouts on the menu include The Dude (Kahlúa, vodka, vanilla ice cream) and the Berry Boozy (vodka, berries, vanilla ice cream).

3. SASSAFRAS AMERICAN EATERY // DENVER

Sassafras American Eatery’s Icy Inebriants will keep you cool with a bit of kick. For a delightful spin on a smoothie, try the Lavender Fields, which includes mixed wild berries, house-infused lavender gin, and vanilla bean ice cream.

4. RUDY'S BAR & GRILLE // CHICAGO

Rudy’s is known for marrying alcohol and ice cream. Meet the Milkshake Martini: These Smirnoff vodka-based cocktails are combined with Homer's gourmet ice cream—which, legend has it, was a favorite of Al Capone's—to create a variety of flavors like Pumpkin Spice, Double Chocolate, and Dreamsicle.

5. GO BURGER // NEW YORK CITY

Go Burger is all about that gourmet hamburger experience, but their extensive selection of adult beverages really seals the deal. Not only do they have adult floats (including a mouth-watering take on the classic root beer float spiked with Elijah Craig bourbon), but their shakes and cocktails also won’t disappoint. Try the Grandma’s Treat, which is made with Maker’s Mark, caramel and vanilla ice cream.

6. WUBURGER // BOSTON

WuBurger is a staple for burgers, but their milkshakes should not be overlooked. A particularly intriguing one, the Hummingbird, is made with banana chips, chocolate, and raspberry liquor. At $12, that sounds like a steal.

7. RELISH BURGER BISTRO // SCOTTSDALE, ARIZONA

Relish Burger Bistro is housed within Scottsdale's luxury resort, The Phoenician. The menu [PDF] consists of various 100 percent Wagyu beef burgers on brioche buns, and when it comes to boozy shakes, it sticks to the three main classics: Chocolate, vanilla, and the root beer float. (The chocolate version is spiked with both Van Gogh chocolate vodka and Godiva chocolate liqueur.)

8. HOLSTEINS // LAS VEGAS, PORTLAND, AND ORANGE COUNTY, CALIFORNIA

Holsteins is not messing around with their mind-blowing variety of "Bam-boozled Shakes." Of the 11 shakes they offer (including a vegan coconut raspberry option), the liquor ranges from tequila (the Coffee & Donuts has Patron) to dark rum (the Bananas Foster features Myers's). And of course they carry flavored vodkas, like in the Campfire Smores shake made with Smirnoff marshmallow vodka, chocolate, marshmallow, and graham cracker crumble.

9. SKILLET // SEATTLE

What pairs perfectly with a burger at Skillet? A boozy milkshake with all of the decadence of a sundae! Their Colonel Parker hard shake adds bourbon to a peanut butter and vanilla ice cream base, while the Jesse's Peppermint Patty combines Batch 206 Mad Mint vodka and Meletti Cioccolato liqueur with vanilla ice cream.

10. FIELDING'S WOOD GRILL // THE WOODLANDS, TEXAS

Grab lunch or dinner at Fielding’s Wood Grill—but save plenty of room for dessert. Whether you have a hankering for the B 52 (with Cointreau, Bailey's and Kahlua) or a Bourbon Caramel (with Buffalo Trace Kentucky bourbon and toffee), the housemade ice cream made from local dairy is the best way to wash down a meal.

11. PALLOOKAVILLE FINE FOODS // ATLANTA

The options are (nearly) endless at Pallookaville. Their extensive list of Shaketails and Boozecreams pretty much guarantees that anyone seeking a boozy float will be satisfied. One menu standout: the Toasty Cinnamon Crunch, which includes vanilla ice cream, butterscotch, Fireball whiskey and, of course, the namesake cereal.

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Big Questions
Why Do People Drink Mint Juleps at the Kentucky Derby?
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Whether you plan to enjoy the race from Churchill Downs or don an elaborate hat in the comfort of your own home, if you're watching the Kentucky Derby, you may find yourself sipping on a refreshing mint julep this weekend. But, why?

The drink—a cocktail traditionally composed of bourbon, sugar, water, and mint—has been a Kentucky favorite since long before Churchill Downs came into play. In fact, in 1816, silver julep cups were given as prizes at Kentucky county fairs (a change from the stuffed animals they offer today). And before that, a “julep” was considered medicinal, “prescribed” for stomach problems and sore throats.

Though mint juleps have likely been enjoyed at the Kentucky Derby since the beginning—legend has it that founder Meriwether Lewis Clark, Jr., planted mint for cocktails when he founded the track in 1875—the cocktail wasn’t declared the “official” Derby drink until 1938.

It was just a few years ago that the Derby switched to a more “authentic” version of the mint julep. For almost two decades, the 120,000 mint juleps served at the races were made with Early Times. Based on the aging process, Early Times isn’t considered bourbon (just “Kentucky whisky”) in the U.S. In 2015, they switched to Old Forester, which is also owned by the Brown-Forman Corporation.

Even with the switch to “real” bourbon, what most revelers actually get is the Old Forester Ready-to-Serve Cocktail mix, not a handcrafted mint julep—unless you’re willing to pony up $1000. For the past 13 years, Brown-Forman has served a special version of the drink made with Woodford Reserve small batch bourbon. It’ll set you back a grand, but hey, you get to keep the pewter cup—and proceeds benefit the Jennifer Lawrence Arts Fund (yes, that Jennifer Lawrence). In 2016, the Oscar-winning actress—and Louisville native—founded the organization "to assist and empower organizations that fulfill children's needs and drives art access to positively impact the lives of young people."

Have you got a Big Question you'd like us to answer? If so, let us know by emailing us at bigquestions@mentalfloss.com.

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Animals
The Surprising Role Bats Play in Making Your Margarita
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The next time you have a margarita, raise your glass to the humble bat. Long-nosed bats are the main pollinators of agave, the plant used to make both tequila and mezcal. (Tequila is specifically made from blue agave, or Agave tequilana, while mezcal can be made from any species of the plant.) These agave plants open their flowers at night, attracting bats with their sugary nectar, and in turn, the bats help spread their pollen.

One of those bats, the lesser long-nosed bat, just got off the endangered species list in April 2018, as The Washington Post reported. It's the first bat species ever to recover its population enough to be taken off the Endangered Species List. Its revival is due, in part, to tequila producers along the bat's migration route between Mexico and the southwestern U.S. making their growing methods a little more bat-friendly.

While the relationship between bats and agave might be mutualistic, the one between bats and booze isn't necessarily so. Typical agave production for tequila and mezcal involves harvesting the plant right before it reaches sexual maturity—the flowering stage—because that's when its sugar content peaks, and because after the plant flowers, it dies. Instead of letting the plants reproduce naturally through pollination, farmers plant the clones that grow at the agave plant's base, known as hijuelos. That means fields of agave get razed before bats get the chance to feed off those plants. This method is bad for bats, but it's not great for agave, either; over time, it leads to inbred plants that have lower genetic diversity than their cross-pollinated cousins, ones that require more and more pesticides to keep them healthy.

Rodrigo Medellín, an ecologist who has been nicknamed the "Bat Man of Mexico," has been leading the crusade for bat-friendly tequila for decades, trying to convince tequila producers to let some of just 5 percent of their plants flower. The Tequila Interchange Project—a nonprofit organization made up of tequila producers, scientists, and tequila enthusiasts—led to the release of three bat-friendly agave liquors in the U.S. in 2016: two tequilas, Siembra Valles Ancestral and Tequila Ocho, and a mezcal, Don Mateo de la Sierra.

In 2017, when Medellín and his team visited the agave fields of Don Mateo de la Sierra to gather data, they discovered that the project was even more bat-friendly than they thought. The Mexican long-nosed bat, another endangered species, was also taking its meals at the field's flowering plants.

This weekend, raise a glass of tequila to all the bats out there—just make sure it's a bat-friendly brand.

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