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Retro Fun for Grown Ups: A Cocktail Milkshake Bar!

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Retro Cocktail Milkshakes Bar

As the saying goes – I scream, you scream, we ALL scream for ice cream”  – and that includes the grown-ups!

And being one of these ice-cream-loving-grown-ups myself, I was super excited when California Milk Advisory Board asked me to design a Cocktail Infused Milkshake Bar for them, in celebration of National Ice Cream Month (July). That’s right, folks… this table is filled with everything you need to make those tasty milkshakes that we all know and love, but served up with an adult-friendly kick!

boozy milkshake ideas

Retro Palm Springs Chic + Kitschy Fun
I really had some fun with the styling on this theme and hope it makes you happy too… flamingos – check, kitschy cow figurines – check, rainbow sprinkles – check, boozy milkshakes – CHECK! There are lots of FREE Ice Cream Printables for you do download here as well. Speaking of which, I just couldn’t resist channeling a little Kelis for the occasion… ;)

free printable milkshake bar sign

Download this milkshake sign + lots more fun designs below!

How to Set Up a Cocktail Milkshake Bar

When it comes to a make-it-yourself station of any kind at a party, it’s important to keep the elements organized and functional for your guests. I started by dividing the table into 3 clear-cut sections: SCOOP (the ice cream made from Real California Milk), SPIKE (the mixers), and SHAKE (the blender). Giant ice cream cone balloons served as fun signs!

diy balloon ice cream cone

I made these balloons from punch balloons + printable ice cream cones. The cones are attached to the balloon with 3D glue dots, and since punch balloons come fitted with a rubber band at the top, they are naturally quite convenient for hanging.

how to make ice cream cone balloons

The SCOOP section of the table featured ice cream made from Real California Milkin chocolate and vanilla flavors. (Look for dairy that bears the Real California Milk seal.) It’s best to keep things simple with just 2-3 versatile ice cream flavors, since the mixers and toppings will naturally create lots of different drink options for your guests.

I used clear acrylic containers to serve the ice cream and placed the containers in an ice-filled beverage tub to keep them cold. You do want the ice cream to be a little bit soft when served though, so that it’s easier for guests to scoop and mix.

diy ice cream station

A Boozy Milkshakes Menu sat near the ice cream too, with a few suggested recipes for guests to try out when they’re looking for inspiration. Recipe suggestions included 2 vanilla-based options: Funfetti and Peachy Keen, plus 3 chocolate based options: Mexican Chilled Chocolate (as a playful twist on Mexican Hot Chocolate), Gimme S’more, and Sassy Chocolate.