Party Drinks: 62 Nonalcoholic Dirty Sodas, Punches & More to Celebrate!, written by Rebecca Hubbell, features an exciting collection of beverages for special occasions throughout the year along with homemade syrups and other components. A few fun flavors include Strawberries & Cream, Island Breeze, Cookies ‘n’ Coffee Milkshake, Sparkling Blueberry Iced Tea, and Brunch Punch. I will also be sharing her recipe for a Birthday Cake Milkshake following the review.
Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Rock Point in exchange for my honest review. All comments and opinions are my own. This post contains Amazon affiliate links. If you purchase something through the link, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.
Rebecca Hubbell is a recipe developer and cookbook author. She started her recipe site, Sugar and Soul, in 2013 and maintains “a passion for all things sweet and bubbly.”
Her work has been featured in Country Living, Good Housekeeping, Delish, MSN, and more.
Rebecca was born and raised in Maine and continues to live there with her family.
Rebecca begins Party Drinks with a short introduction and a few tips to successfully prepare the included recipes.
She has also put together a variety of homemade simple syrups to build the drinks. We recently got a sparkling water machine, so this was an especially fun way to play around with some of the flavors.
Chapters are divided based on type of drink: Dirty Sodas, Spritzers & Refreshers, Floats & Milkshakes, Lemonades & Iced Teas, Party Punches, and Homemade Components. The contents have a list of included recipes with page number for easy reference.
The photography is also provided by Rebecca. Every recipe is paired with a full-page, vibrant photo of the finished drink.
Measurements are listed in ounces and milliliters. Each recipe has a headnote with background information, serving size, and helpful notes.
Birthday Cake Milkshake
We are celebrating some birthdays this month and this Birthday Cake Milkshake from the Floats & Milkshakes chapter was perfect for marking the occasion.
The milkshake includes all the flavors of a birthday cake with only a fraction of the work. Vanilla ice cream, milk, and frosting are pulsed in a blender until smooth.
To finish, sprinkles are folded in before serving in a chilled glass with whipped cream, a mini cupcake, and even a birthday candle.
We kept to the vanilla version. You can also make a Chocolate Birthday Cake Milkshake by using chocolate ice cream, chocolate frosting, and 2 tablespoons (30 milliliters) of Rebecca’s Chocolate Simple Syrup.
I got the mini cupcakes from the bakery section of my local grocery store.
I topped the Birthday Cake Milkshake with store-bought whipped cream. Rebecca also has a recipe for a decadent Vanilla Pudding Whipped Cream in the book.
To keep the drink from melting too quickly, place the glasses in the freezer for at least 15 minutes before filling.
To add to the festive look, optionally cover the rim with more vanilla frosting and sprinkles before pouring in the milkshake.
Serve immediately after assembling.
I also made the Breakfast Soda, Balsamic Fizz, Maple Lemonade, and Midnight Kiss Punch.
The Breakfast Soda is quite a fun and sweet start to the day. Cold brew coffee is sweetened with maple syrup and paired with cream soda, heavy cream, and a sprinkling of cinnamon sugar.
The Balsamic Fizz has just a touch of balsamic vinegar to complement the flavors of the strawberry seltzer and lemon juice base. It is topped with a strawberry and lemon wedge.
The Maple Lemonade was my favorite. Similar in style to my Roasted Vanilla Orange Juice, lemon halves are roasted in an oven, then juiced to create the base for this drink. It is sweetened with maple syrup and can easily be adjusted to personal taste.
The Party Punches chapter has drinks for celebrations throughout the year. We enjoyed the Midnight Kiss Punch on New Year’s Eve. Rebecca states, “it’s like a sweet raspberry lemonade mixed with a creamsicle and a hint of cranberry and lime.”
Party Drinks is a great pick for those interested in a variety of drinks for every occasion. Most of the recipes come together in as little as 10 minutes and 2-5 ingredients.
Generally, the ingredients are readily available in larger grocery stores. A few more difficult to find items include specialty brands and flavors such as coconut simple syrup, strawberry soda, green apple soda, butterscotch simple syrup, butter extract, shortbread simple syrup, and malted milk powder.
Birthday Cake Milkshake Recipe
Excerpt from Party Drinks
Birthday Cake Milkshake
- Vanilla Pudding Whipped Cream or regular Whipped Cream
- 5 scoops vanilla ice cream
- 4 ounces (120 milliliters) whole milk
- 1/2 cup (132 grams) white frosting plus more for the rim of the glass (optional)
- 2 tablespoons sprinkles plus more for topping
- 1 mini cupcake for garnish
- Birthday candles for garnish
- Place your milkshake glass in the freezer for 15 minutes while you prepare the recipe in the blender.
- If using pudding whipped cream, prepare the cream before the milkshake.
- Add the ice cream, milk, and frosting to a blender and pulse until smooth. Fold in the sprinkles.
- You can spread 2 more tablespoons of frosting around the edge of the glass and coat in more sprinkles, if desired.
- Pour the mixture into the chilled milkshake glass.
- Top with the whipped cream, additional sprinkles, and a mini cupcake.
- Don't forget a birthday candle on top of the mini cupcake!