Guilty Pleasures

Vodka-Spiked Milkshakes at Relish Burger Bistro Are a Boozy Treat

The Guilty Pleasure
: Adult milkshake
Where to Get It: Relish Burger Bistro at The Phoenician
Price: $14
What it Really Costs: A certain loss of innocence because you will never again be able to look at a carton of vanilla ice cream without being tempted to reach for the vodka. 

Most of us know The Phoenician as the place where well-heeled tourists go to golf, swim, and tan by the resort's signature pool, which is famously lined in mother-of-pearl tile. If you were hanging around town in the '80s and '90s, you might also remember it as the place Charles Keating spent millions to build, only to lose it to the Feds in the wake of one of the era's biggest banking scandals.

In any case, the massive Euro-styled resort is not exactly the first place that comes to mind when you think of hearty burgers and milkshakes. But if you're a serious burger aficionado, you've probably already discovered Relish Burger Bistro, the high-end burger restaurant located on the second floor of the Phoenician's golf clubhouse.

Relish Burger Bistro is known for its massive, gourmet burgers, including the house specialty, a $26 short rib burger, which is the priciest item on the menu. Beyond burgers, the restaurant also boasts one of the biggest tequila collections in town and sweeping views of the resort's perennially green golf course. 

But if guilty pleasures are your thing, you'll want to turn your attention to the restaurant's featured menu of "adult" milkshakes. You might remember spiked milkshakes popping up on lots of  menus a couple of years ago, much to the disgust of booze purists everywhere. For the traditionalists, those who demand their spirits straight out of a shot glass or mixed into a highball, these milkshakes are mere child's play.  

For everyone else, it can be hard to resist the temptation of sugar and alcohol, blended together into one dangerously palatable drink. If you've ever had to choose between paying for dessert or buying another drink, here is your answer. 

The adult milkshakes at Relish Burger Bistro, available in your choice of chocolate or vanilla, are a smooth blend of soft-churned vanilla ice cream and Van Gogh label vodka. It should also be noted that the kitchen also makes an adult root beer float. 

We opted for the chocolate shake, a velvety blend of vanilla ice cream laced with Godiva chocolate liqueur and a hefty pour of Van Gogh chocolate vodka  If you request it, the kitchen will add a decorative squiggle of chocolate into glass, so that you can watch the chocolate artfully melt into your drink. 

The milkshake is pretty pared down as far as restaurant-quality milkshakes go; you won't find any fancy adornments or garnishes here. But the boozy, spendy drink doesn't really need much else to make it taste better. It's a sweet and smooth ride to the bottom of the glass, the astringency of the vodka adding pleasing depth to the saccharine shake.

Relish Burger Bistro's spiked milkshake brings together two of the major food vices, sugar and alcohol, in one hard-to-resist package. But it's best not to think too hard about the high levels of sugar, lactose, and alcohol in every sip. Just sit back and ride the double-whammy high of sugar and alcohol, inhaled at a rapid clip through a plastic straw. You can always start your diet tomorrow. 

KEEP PHOENIX NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Phoenix New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Phoenix, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Patricia Escárcega was Phoenix New Times' food critic.