Shake, Rattle & Drink

(Holsteins dessert drinks)

Holsteins Shakes and Buns in Las Vegas is offering the ultimate in dessert-type cocktails. Its Bam-boozled Shakes are more than 12 ounces of sugary indulgence, and they’re a hit with customers.

The burger restaurant and bar has one location but a second is slated to open in Portland this spring. The shakes have been on the menu since day one as a complementary offering to the burgers, and alongside non-alcoholic traditional shakes.

There are six standards, each jam packed with sweet offerings. The best seller is the Cookies & Cream, which includes whipped cream vodka, Oreos, chocolate chip cookies, vanilla ice cream, and a garnish of chocolate chip ice cream sandwich, dark and white chocolate crunchies, vanilla frosting and Oreo crumbs (all for $15). Another is the Frozen Grasshopper, made with Crème de Menthe, chocolate vodka, vanilla ice cream, dark and white chocolate crunchies, peppermint meringue, mini peppermint patties, wintergreen candy stick, vanilla frosting, and mint chocolate chips ($15).

Graveyard BamBOOzled Bam-boozled shake - Holsteins Shales and Buns

Holsteins also features seasonal shakes. For Halloween it offered the Graveyard BamBOOzled (vanilla ice cream and cherry vodka garnished with a graveyard made from Oreos, cherry sauce, a gummy skull, a mummy lollipop, a marshmallow Peeps tombstone, bloody bones, hard candy, and whipped cream, finished with a candy corn-frosted rim), and for Christmas, the Candy Cane (vanilla ice cream, peppermint schnapps, and crushed candy canes topped with peppermint glaze, vanilla frosting and whipped cream).

Love Potion No. 9 Bam-boozled shake - Holsteins Shales and Buns

This month, for Valentine’s Day, Holsteins is offering the Love Potion #9 (vanilla ice cream, strawberries, raspberries, red velvet cake crumbs, mixed berry vodka, and white chocolate crunchies, garnished with whipped cream, tiny red and pink candy hearts, strawberry marshmallow poles, pink ripple lollipop, conversation hearts, strawberry Twizzler, and gummy hugs & kisses (Xs and Os).

Corporate executive pastry chef Rebecca Bills comes up with the ideas for the shakes. “I usually start with a dessert idea and think about what alcohol would complement the flavors,” she says.

Surprisingly for products with this much food in them, the shakes are mostly ordered at the start of a meal, to be consumed with a burger. However, customers also regularly ask for them for dessert, says Bills. “A lot of people also take them to go when the pool scene is hopping,” she says. In Las Vegas, she’s able to send these off with customers fully decorated, but as the chain opens in other cities she’ll have to think of what to do with the garnishes, as they may need lids, she explains.

All of the Bam-boozled shakes are 12 ounces, but there’s always some overflow, which is served in a small metal tin on the side, Bills says. And the cocktails come with a small plate so diners can deconstruct the drinks if they wish, and have their food and beverage separately.

Holsteins doesn’t spend a lot of time marketing the shakes because they pretty much do it themselves.

“It’s visual; people see them and we end up selling more as they walk through the dining room, especially the Cookies & Cream,” Bills explains. Sales increase exponentially as soon as one goes out, and that was the whole point of these—people just want something different.”

That’s not to say Holsteins doesn’t market them. Of course the shakes get plenty of mentions on social media since they’re so photogenic, and the restaurant dishes them up at events like the Los Angeles Food and Wine show. At events “we have a booth and actually make the milkshakes there—miniature versions of 4 ounces or so,” Bills explains.

With the adverse press sugar’s getting currently, you’d think there might be some restraint in ordering these drinks, but sales persist. “People come to Vegas to indulge and let go,” Bills says, though she thinks enough people want to treat themselves that these will sell well in other markets, too.

Campfire S'mores Bam-boozled shake - Holsteins Shales and Buns

S’mores Bam-Boozled Shake

Quantity: One shake

  • 4 large scoops vanilla ice cream
  • 4 Tbs. graham crackers, crumbled
  • 1 oz. Smirnoff fluff vodka
  • Swirl of chocolate sauce (recipe below)
  • 1 oz. whipped cream for garnish
  • 1 jumbo marshmallow (store bought or recipe below)
  • 1 hard candy stick, s’mores flavor
  • 3 s’mores chocolate balls
  • 3 chocolate covered mini graham crackers
  • Vanilla frosting for rim (recipe below)
  • Graham cracker crumble, pressed onto frosting
  1. Place first three ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth. It is helpful to let the ice cream melt slightly before blending.
  2. Spread about a 2-inch band of vanilla frosting on the outside rim of a shake glass and press the crumbled graham cracker onto the frosting.
  3. Swirl chocolate sauce inside the empty glass.
  4. Fill the glass with the blended shake then top with whipped cream, the jumbo marshmallow, and the candy pieces.

*Note: The s’mores candies can be purchased at most novelty candy stores

Chocolate Sauce:

  • 1 Cup heavy cream
  • 1 Tbs. butter
  • 8 oz. dark chocolate, chopped

Boil cream and butter, then pour over the chocolate. Whisk until smooth. When cool, pour into a squeeze bottle.

Vanilla Frosting:

  • ¼ cup butter, soft
  • 2-1/4 cups powdered sugar
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2-3 Tbs. whole milk

In a large mixing bowl, beat butter until creamy. Add the vanilla, powdered sugar, and milk and mix slowly until the sugar is incorporated. Increase the speed and whip until frosting is fluffy and has stiff peaks.


  • 4 oz. hot water
  • 1 oz. gelatin powder
  • 1-1/2 cups sugar
  • 2/3 cup corn syrup
  • 4 oz. water
  • Powdered sugar for dusting
  1. In a counter-top mixer, slowly whisk 4 oz. of hot water with the gelatin.
  2. Meanwhile, in a small pot, cook the sugar, corn syrup, and 4 oz. water to 240°F.
  3. With mixer on low speed, drizzle the sugar mix into the mixing bowl. Whip on high speed until white.
  4. Lightly oil the sides of an 8x10-inch cookie sheet and line the bottom with parchment paper. Oil the parchment paper and dust with powdered sugar.
  5. Spread the marshmallow onto the pan and sift more powdered sugar on top. Allow to set up overnight.
  6. The next day, cut into 2-inch x 2-inch cubes. Extra marshmallows can be stored at room temperature or in the freezer in an airtight container.