Wednesday, March 3, 2021
March 3, 2021

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Food & Drink: Indulge in decadence of boozy shakes

Quest to find sugary treats satisfying but not intoxicating

2 Photos
A Maple Bacon Candied Walnut shake at Stack 571.
A Maple Bacon Candied Walnut shake at Stack 571. (Rachel Pinsky) Photo Gallery

The end of the year is all about decadence. As part of my duty to overindulge in sugar and alcohol, I assembled a team of fellow hedonists to wander Vancouver seeking boozy shakes. It was a glorious — but surprisingly not very intoxicating — evening.

The first stop was Rally Pizza, the place that inspired our journey. Rally Pizza has a permanent menu of five boozy shakes ($10), and a daily special shake, all made with Rally’s own luscious frozen custard.

The frozen custard makes the shakes extremely thick; you’re more likely to use a spoon than try to hoover them through a paper straw.

The Forest Road (amaretto, chocolate fudge sauce and smoked marshmallow) seems to be very popular. On our visit, the waitress cautioned us that there was only one left, so we snapped it up. It proved that amaretto may be the ultimate liquor to mix with a sweet drink. We also liked the smoked marshmallow flavor.

The Landslide (Irish cream, Kahlua, and coffee syrup) brought visions of The Dude from the film “The Big Lebowski.” It’s a frozen White Russian without the vodka. Who needs the vodka? After all, the boozy shakes at Rally aren’t booze forward. The 1 ounce of alcohol in each drink is carefully mixed with the other flavors. When you bring the glass to your lips the aroma is more bakery than distillery.

If you go

What: Rally Pizza.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. daily.

Where: 8070 E. Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver.

Contact: 360-524-9000;

What: Stack 571.

Hours: 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Sunday through Thursday; 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday.

Where: 670 Waterfront Way, Vancouver.

Contact: 360-450-0774;

The surprise hit was the Bourbon Bramble (bourbon, blackberry syrup, and sea salt caramel). Who would think that blackberry went so well with bourbon? Shan Wickham, Rally co-owner and pastry chef, was inspired by a classic gin cocktail called a bramble. She decided to sub in bourbon for gin and the Bourbon Bramble boozy shake was born.

‘Keep it simple’

We headed to the Vancouver waterfront and tried to get the notoriously boozed up Bootleg Bourbon Milkshake at Barlow’s Public House. Unfortunately, on our visit, the restaurant had a special menu that didn’t include this frozen booze-bomb. We moved on to Stack 571.

Stack 571 has six regular shakes and a special shake, all with an optional shot on their menu. The shakes are made with a high butter fat ice cream from Darigold. Each serving has a full shot (1.5 ounces of booze). They are $10.95 with spirits and $6.95 without alcohol.

We tried the Maple Bacon Candied Walnut with Evan Williams Bourbon and the Bananas Foster with Kraken Rum. I was tempted by the Lucky Charms S’mores shake with brandy, but my companion wasn’t a fan of this magically delicious cereal.

Both milkshakes, like the ones at Rally, were well balanced. The Bananas Foster had a nice cinnamon finish. It also confirmed a theory of one of my milkshake drinking companions: Rum goes well in milkshakes. Before taking the first sip of the maple bacon milkshake, I got a nice whiff of maple syrup. The bacon was well incorporated, and not overpowering, adding a bit of saltiness.

Chef Chris Bryant creates the shake recipes for Stack 571.

“We do our best to keep things simple, use quality ingredients and at times get close to pushing the limits of pairings without being trendy,” Bryant said.

Spending an evening downing boozy shakes isn’t the bacchanal bar crawl I expected.

These drinks are a mash-up of desserts and cocktails. It’s more like eating rum cake than full-out debauchery.

Rachel Pinsky can be emailed at You can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram @couveeats.


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