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922 South Morton Street
Bloomington, IN, 47403
United States


Cardinal Spirits is a craft distillery in Bloomington, Indiana that specializes in producing extraordinary spirits from local ingredients.  

The Drop

The Drop is your source for all things craft. 


Erica Sagon

Recipe and photos by Shelly Westerhausen

Each time we hear about a new way to use Songbird Craft Coffee Liqueur, it seems like the best idea ever. But this. THIS is the one that tops them all. A boozy milkshake spiked with coffee liqueur is one of the most decadent, otherworldly things you can sip through a straw. 

What makes this milkshake so special is a couple of divine homemade extras. The first is a cocoa-shortbread crumble, which, when tucked into the bottom of the glass and heaped on top, adds a perfect crunch. The second is caramel sauce, which winds throughout the shake to give it even more flavor. If you're short on time, you can substitute store-bought cookies and sauce, of course. But, trust us: making it all from scratch is totally, completely worth it. 

Coffee Liqueur + Caramel Milkshake With Cocoa Shortbread Crumble

Serves 2

For the Cocoa Shortbread Crumble:
½ cup all-purpose flour
½ teaspoon cornstarch
¼ cup cocoa powder
¼ cup sugar
Dash of salt
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
Dash of coffee extract (optional)
3 tablespoons butter, melted

For the Caramel Sauce:
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon light corn syrup
¼ cup water
½ cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons butter
½ teaspoon salt

For the Milkshake and assembly:
¼ cup whole milk
3 tablespoons caramel sauce, plus more to taste for garnish
3 cups vanilla ice cream
1 ounce Songbird Craft Coffee Liqueur
2 tablespoons cocoa shortbread crumble, plus more to taste for garnish

For the Cocoa Shortbread Crumble:

  1. Preheat oven to 300 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Combine the flour, cornstarch, cocoa powder, sugar, and salt in the mixing bowl of a stand mixer. Using the paddle attachment, mix until combined.
  3. Add in the vanilla extract, coffee extract (if using), and butter and beat until the dough has formed into small clusters. 
  4. Transfer the clusters to the prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer. The dough should be crumbled into pea-size pieces (or smaller). Bake for 15 minutes, stirring the crumbs around halfway through. Remove from heat and let cool. The crumbles will harden as they cool.

For the Caramel Sauce:

  1. In a small saucepan, cook the sugar, corn syrup, and water over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved.
  2. Increase the heat to medium-high and bring to a boil. Once bowling, DO NOT STIR (this makes the caramel grainy) cook for eight minutes, swirling the pan around occasionally, or until it has formed a deep brown color.
  3. Remove from heat, immediately add in the cream, and stir. Next, add in the butter and salt and whisk until smooth. Set aside and let cool slightly before using. 

To assemble:

  1. Combine the milk, caramel sauce, ice cream and Songbird Craft Coffee Liqueur in a blender and blend on high speed until smooth.
  2. Place a tablespoon each of the cocoa shortbread crumble in the bottom of two glasses and drizzle a little caramel sauce around the inside of each glass.
  3. Divide the blended shake between the glasses and top with more caramel sauce and cocoa shortbread crumb. 

NOTE: If you'd like, you can add more coffee liqueur to usher this milkshake into cocktail territory— just cut back on some of the whole milk so that the shake stays nice and thick. 

More recipes for Songbird Craft Coffee Liqueur:

Cafe a l'Orange  |  Coffee and tonic  |   Up and Attem  |   White Russian