How to Make Two of Big Gay Ice Cream’s Very Special Milkshakes

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"Serve with straws and spoons. Slam it!" Photo: Donny Tsang/Big Gay Ice Cream, Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint

Since the debut of the Big Gay Ice Cream truck in the summer of 2009, Douglas Quint and Bryan Petroff have built a mini-empire — two shops in New York, one in Los Angeles, and another in Philadelphia that’s set to open soon. Next week, they’ll publish their first-ever cookbook, which perfectly captures their uniquely playful, colorful spirit: Big Gay Ice Cream: Saucy Stories & Frozen Treats: Going All the Way With Ice Cream is organized like a yearbook, with basic “Freshman Year” recipes, “Senior Year” sorbets, and “Science Club” notes along the way.

Quint and Petroff’s shakes fall into “Junior Year” territory — but they are definitely doable at home. Which is exactly why you should add these two options to your warm-weather dessert repertoire immediately. Each of these recipes yields a thick, eight-ounce shake — and for those who like their shakes thinner, the duo suggests upping the amount of milk to one cup. Try them out right now:

Ginger-Curry Shake
The Ginger-Curry Shake was the first specialty shake of our own devising to find a regular spot on the menu. We’d been using the Ginger People’s ginger syrup as an ice-cream topping, encouraging people to give it a sprinkling of curry powder as a complement. Kyle, one of our regular customers, asked if we’d consider making that as a shake. With him as our guinea pig, we set about getting it right. Curry powder is a blend of spices, so you never know exactly what you may get until trying the end result. Start with the amount listed below and go from there.

3/4 cup whole milk
1/4 cup ginger syrup
1/8 teaspoon mild yellow curry powder
4 large scoops vanilla ice cream or sweet-cream ice cream

Add the milk, ginger syrup, and curry powder to a blender, cover, and quickly pulse the blender to combine. Add the ice cream, cover, and blend on a medium setting until you see a whirlpool form — that’s when you know it’s done. Pour or spoon the shake into two tall glasses. Top with any garnish you’d like — candied lime rind, whipped cream, a drizzle of more ginger syrup, it’s all good. Serve with straws and spoons. Chock dii!

Hiccup alert: We’ve liquored up this shake to good results. Reduce the amount of milk to 1/2 cup and use 1/4 cup well-chilled rum or coconut-flavored alcohol. New York City food personality Eddie Huang showed up one night with a bottle of coconut-infused vodka, and we used some in this shake. From what we remember (that night has grown hazy over time), it tasted excellent! We always keep our liquor bottles in the freezer, and we assume you do the same.

Tang-Creamsicle Shake
This shake was inspired by those Orange Julius kiosks in the shopping malls we hung out at when we were growing up, as well as by the orange Creamsicles we always had in our freezers. What is it about the combination of orange and cream? Orange alone can be overly acidic, but the addition of sweet vanilla ice cream tempers it down just so. We thought it would be fun to trash it up a notch by using neon-orange Tang powder for that high-in-the-sky taste.

3/4 cup whole milk
1 tablespoon Tang orange drink powder
4 large scoops vanilla ice cream or sweet-cream ice cream (Note: If using store-bought ice cream, avoid vanilla bean)

Add the milk and Tang to a blender, cover, and quickly pulse the blender to combine. Add the ice cream, cover, and blend (on “blend”) until you see a whirlpool form — that’s when you know it’s done. Pour or spoon the shake into two tall glasses. Garnish with anything you’d like — Star Wars figurines, whipped cream, or a shake of more Tang powder. Serve with straws and spoons. Slam it!

Reprinted from Big Gay Ice Cream. Copyright © 2015 by Bryan Petroff and Douglas Quint. Photographs copyright © 2015 by Donny Tsang. Published by Clarkson Potter, an imprint of Penguin Random House, LLC

How to Make Two of Big Gay Ice Cream’s Very Special Milkshakes