A boozy milkshake crawl of the Vegas Strip

A Tour of the most Decadent Spiked Milkshakes In Las Vegas

| Krista Diamond

 The Las Vegas Strip looks hazy and half-asleep on Friday morning. The Los Angelenos on I-15 haven’t made their way to the city yet. It is already 97 degrees, and soon it will be much hotter and the crowds will be much drunker. 

“What are you doing on the Strip today?” my Lyft driver asks. 

“I’m doing a crawl where I try a bunch of different milkshakes with alcohol in them,” I explain. 

“Oh,” he says, glancing at the time. It is 10:30 a.m. “It’s early.” 

The thing is, in Vegas it’s never really too early. The Las Vegas Strip exists in a perpetual state of timelessness where it’s possible to shop at Chanel around midnight, eat prime rib at 4 a.m., or if you’re a total masochist like me, try nine different spiked milkshakes over the course of five hours. The plan is to start at Black Tap Craft Burger & Beer at the Venetian, head over to Blue Ribbon Fried Chicken at the Grand Bazaar Shops, Holsteins at the Cosmopolitan, Bobby’s Burger Palace at Mandarin Oriental, and then finish with Cafe Hollywood inside Planet Hollywood Resort. 

“Well, I hope you at least had a big breakfast to soak up all that alcohol,” the driver says, pulling up to the entrance of the Venetian. Ornate fresco paintings on the ceiling hover over the entrance to the casino. 

“Nope,” I say. 

Dairy. Hard liquor. A forecast of 107 degrees. What could go wrong? 

The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, 3708 Las Vegas Blvd. S. 

Holsteins was the first place I ever had a boozy milkshake, and I’ve always looked back on the memory with a mix of fondness and confusion over just how good of an idea it is to combine liquor and ice cream. Clearly, the jury is still out on that debate. 

Two things about the milkshakes at Holsteins: 1) They are exceedingly decadent and covered with some of the most elaborate toppings on the Strip and 2) because of the sheer number and size of said toppings, you will never be sure how to properly consume one. 

We start with the Campfire S’mores, a towering mix of marshmallow vodka, ice cream, and chocolate sauce that is topped with an oversized toasted marshmallow, S’mores chocolate balls, candy sticks, and chocolate-covered graham crackers. I developed a weakness for marshmallow vodka during college winters in New Hampshire, and drinking it in the summer feels wrong, but also kind of right. The second milkshake is a true work of art. The Donutella is a Patron XO Café and Nutella-based milkshake that is topped with hazelnut croquant, pirouette cookies, chocolate coffee beans, and a Nutella glazed doughnut. It tastes like doughnuts and coffee in a glass, which isn’t a convenience the world was asking for, but lo and behold, Holsteins has blessed us with it. I have been on a liquid diet for several hours now. Desperate for solid food, I eat the doughnut.