3 Places You Can Get Boozy Milkshakes in Honolulu

Add a shot of liquor to your favorite childhood treat for the adult beverage of your dreams.
The boozy milkshakes from The Counter, where you can also build your own shake from scratch by adding a shot of whatever you want in one of the restaurant’s shakes or malts.
Photo: Aaron Yoshino


If alcohol and milk sounds like a disgusting stomachache waiting to happen, you’ve clearly never had a hard-root-beer float. It’s time to revisit milkshakes with your adult sensibilities. Don’t know where to start? Here are three places you can get your booze on, and find out which boozy shakes get the award for Best of Honolulu in our July issue, online and on newsstands now.


The Counter

Being a grownup is tough, but we don’t mind it so much when that means we can order a Kahlua-spiked Keoke Coffee shake to get us through the day. Or, for dessert, try a Strawberry Shortcake shake, which combines Stoli Vanil vodka and amaretto with yellow cake mix, strawberries and heaps of vanilla ice cream. You can also build your own shake from scratch, or add a shot of booze to any of the restaurant’s $7 shakes or malts—including the Banana Split, Pineapple Upside Down and Caramel Java Malt—for $3 extra.

$10, Kāhala Mall, 4211 Wai‘alae Ave., E-1, 739-5100, thecounterburger.com/Honolulu


Downbeat Diner

Now that you know how to mix alcohol and dairy, have at it. Choose any of Downbeat’s shake flavors (there are 16, including chai tea, blueberry and coconut) and add a call liquor of your choice. We recommend Nutella with Bailey’s. You can even make it vegan for $1 more.

$9.50, 42 N. Hotel St., 533-2328, downbeatdiner.com


Hard Rock Café

Hard Rock’s Twisted Shakes are out of control in the best way. Take the Twist & Shout Shake, which starts out with vanilla ice cream and chocolate and caramel syrups. Then throw in some Guinness, Bacardi OakHeart Spiced Rum and dark crème de cacao liqueur. And, instead of a cherry to top it off, add bacon. Yep—crispy bacon jutting out of pillowy whipped cream makes this indulgent shake a perfect complement for a barbecue bacon burger. If you’re not into bacon, go for the Chocolate Cherry Soda Shake or Vanilla Rock Beer Shake.

$12.50, 280 Beachwalk, 955-7383, hardrock.com/cafes/Honolulu


Join us at the first-ever Best of Honolulu Festival on Saturday, July 16 at the Honolulu Hale Civic Grounds, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Find out more here.