Few things are as satisfying, or as universally loved as a milkshake. If it weren't true, bizarre cults wouldn't form around McDonald's Shamrock shakes – clogging Twitter and Facebook with complaints about slight reductions in mint flavor and driving 100s of miles just for one last taste of the green after St. Patty's Day. Obviously, America has a love affair with milkshakes. They're a delicious indulgence that reminds us all of being kids again. But we're adults now. It's time for the milkshake to grow up as well.

Adult milkshakes are milkshakes with alcohol added. While it may sound slightly odd, using different spirits can help tone down the sweetness and add more complex flavors that turn the milkshake into a sophisticated dessert instead of just a treat for kids. The range of spirits that can match up well with ice cream is every bit as wide as the variety of ice cream flavors – essentially limitless. In fact, small-batch gourmet ice cream producers are waking up to the possibilities of using liquor in their ice creams more and more in recent years.

Making an adult milkshake is pretty simple, requiring only a blender, ice cream, milk, spirits and any other ingredients you'd like to add. The general ratio to use for adult milkshakes is two to one ice cream to milk, with around 1 oz of alcohol per cup of ice cream. Adding a little extra ice cream or reducing the milk a bit can be helpful though, since the alcohol tends to make the ice cream melt slightly faster. You can also play with the ratios to make the shake as thick or thin as you prefer. If you do it right, you've got a spectacular summer treat. Mess it up, and it's still pretty tasty. It is ice cream, after all.

Feel free to experiment with your favorite flavors, but here are a few recipes to get you started off right. They're all sized to share, so invite some friends!

The Monkey Business

Inspired by the booze-filled ice cream concoction of the same name at the Town Talk Diner in Minneapolis, the Monkey Business combines chocolate, peanut butter and banana with bourbon. It's just sweet enough, the addition of bourbon bringing warmth to the cold drink, along with some hints of caramel and spice that shine through the other heavy flavors.

• 4 cups chocolate ice cream

• 1.5 cups milk

• 1 banana

• 2 oz Castries Peanut Cream liquor (optional, but if left out add an additional 2 tbsp peanut butter)

• 2 tbsp peanut butter

• 3 oz bourbon (Jim Beam Black is a solid choice here – high quality, without being so expensive that you feel like an idiot for putting it in the blender)

Pour all the ingredients in the blender and pulse till smooth.

The Peaches & Cream

Peaches are about as summery as you can get. They're even better when they're combined with ice cream and amaretto for a fresh-tasting adult milkshake. Even better, since it has fruit in it you can pretend it's good for you, right?

• 4 cups vanilla ice cream

• 2 ripe peaches, peeled and chopped

• 1.5 cups milk

• 4 oz. amaretto liqueur

• 2 oz. peach schnapps

Toss the whole mess into a blender and blend on puree for about 20-30 seconds until the mixture is smooth and there's minimal sign of peach chunks, which don't flow up bendy straws particularly well.

The Brandy Alexander

A classic cocktail that comes in a wide range of forms, including an adult milkshake, the Brandy Alexander was allegedly created in London around 1922. Normally made with cream or half & half, using vanilla ice cream makes it even more luxurious and summer appropriate.

• 4 cups vanilla ice cream

• 3 oz. crème de cacao (Marie Brizard makes a particularly tasty version)

• 3 oz. brandy (Macieira is a Portuguese brandy with enough spice and oak to tone down the sweetness of the drink and add some much needed complexity)

• 1.25 cups milk

• 2 tsp. Vanilla extract (or split open 1 vanilla bean, scrape out the seeds and put them in the mix)

Drop all of the ingredients in the blender and give it a few pulses. Pour into wine glasses and toast the mad genius who thought ice cream and booze would be a perfect match.