Summertime brings back delicious memories of icy childhood treats: milkshakes, floats and slushies. They were great to enjoy as a kid, and they can be even better to enjoy as an adult if you know where to go in the East Bay.
After doing some careful research, we have come up with a handful of restaurants and bars that offer tempting glasses of boozy milkshakes along with other spiked soda fountain favorites.
Think back to those long, hot days of summer when nothing tasted better than a tall glass of something cold and wonderful — then check out these options.
How about a good old-fashioned root beer float? Better yet, how about a grown-up version? Doc’s Adult Root Beer Float ($10) is made with Blackmaker Root Beer liqueur, vodka, vanilla ice cream and seltzer. Or, you can have it your way by ordering the classic root beer float ($5) and adding your choice of vodka, rum, whiskey or brandy for $6 more. Doc’s also serves chocolate, vanilla or strawberry milkshakes ($6), with the option to add the aforementioned liquor additions for an extra $6. Doc’s Refresher, 984 University (near 8th St.), Berkeley
There are so many good choices for boozy milkshakes at The Hideaway in Rockridge. There’s the North Pole (vodka and peppermint schnapps), Caribbean Happiness (rum and pineapple), South of the Border (tequila and lime), East Coast (Manhattan-style with bourbon and cherry) and Pacific Northwest (coffee liqueur, chocolate, and vodka). These delicious whipped cream-topped shakes, all truly works of art, are $15 each. The Hideaway, 5634 College Ave. (between Keith Ave. & Ocean View Dr.), Oakland
Grand Lake Kitchen
Grand Lake Kitchen has a slushy machine that dispenses two options. There’s the classic and evergreen Salty Dog, made with London dry gin, Crème de Pamplemousse, fresh grapefruit, sparkling rosé and salt. And, a brand-new option, the Orange Dreamsicle, which harkens back to that frozen-on-a-stick treat from childhood but with a grown-up twist, made with bourbon, cold-pressed orange juice, dry Curaçao and vanilla. Both slushy delights are $11. Grand Lake Kitchen, 576 Grand Ave. (between MacArthur Boulevard and Euclid Avenue), Oakland
Fort Green bar manager Tina Marie has taken her skills at creating craft cocktails and applied them to the slushy machine behind the bar. On our recent visit, we enjoyed the distinctive cool and hot flavor combo of the Watermelon and the Infinite Sadness slushy ($7), made with Sky Watermelon vodka, Hell or High Water watermelon beer, melon, agave nectar, lime and a sugary, spicy and salty rim of Tajín. The slushy creations change periodically, but some of the crowd favorites have earned a spot on the bar menu, in non-slushy form. A couple of former slushies are the Pineapple Margarita and the Rose all Day. Fort Green, 736 Washington St. (at 8th), Oakland
Located in the heart of downtown Walnut Creek, this bar and grill gets the last word when it comes to boozy shakes. Each one is guaranteed to make you smile like a grown-up kid getting the best treat ever. Choose among these: the Car Bomb (chocolate, draft stout, Jameson), the Margarita (lime zest, Silver tequila, Triple Sec), Bourbon Peanut Butter Banana (Jack Daniel’s, peanut butter, fresh banana), Toasted Marshmallow Coconut (vanilla vodka, Irish Crème, Frangelico, roasted coconut rim), and the Strawberry Shortcake (Pinnacle Cake vodka, strawberries, whipped cream, vanilla wafers), each $13. Broderick Roadhouse, 1548 Bonanza St. (at Locust), Walnut Creek