Robb Report Vices

Shaking Things Up

Decadence, according to some dictionaries, is defined as unrestrained gratification; and the gratification that comes from a languid sip of Pappy Van Winkle—one of the rarest and most prized bourbons ever created—certainly can be characterized as such. After all, very few people have the opportunity to enjoy the contents of a Pappy Van Winkle bottle, and those who do won’t forget it.

Named after Julius “Pappy” Van Winkle Sr. (whose picture graces the label), the Kentucky bourbon continues a more-than-a-century-old tradition of family distilling. An unyielding attention to detail ensures that the spirit will always be world class, while the Old Rip Van Winkle Distillery’s notoriously small batches guarantee that Pappy will always remain in demand. As the distiller’s website declares: “We make fine bourbon. At a profit if we can. At a loss if we must. But always fine bourbon.”

While any bottle of Van Winkle bourbon is indulgent, the distillery’s rare 20-year Family Reserve goes above and beyond. Wonderfully smooth and rich, the bourbon delivers strong notes of vanilla and caramel, and, as we discovered, it makes for a great addition to vanilla milkshakes. To learn more, check out our video. And don’t worry; we also included the recipe here.

½ fresh vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped
1 Tbsp. malted milk powder
2–4 Tbsp. Pappy Van Winkle 20-year Family Reserve (clearly, we lean towards four)
½ cup plus 2 Tbsp. milk

2 scoops premium vanilla ice cream (about 2 cups)

Combine all ingredients but the ice cream in blender and blend for 5 seconds. Add ice cream and blend for another 10 seconds or until smooth. Pour. Drink. Know bliss.

About the Happy Hour Guys:

Jimmy Ludwig and Mark Aldrich are two Broadway actors who, while working together on stage, realized they shared a love of great craft beverages, the people who make them, and the places that serve them. Shortly thereafter, they set out on a mission to discover the best drinks, the best bars, and the best stories; and they delivered those stories through videos posted to their website. Five years and more than 250 episodes later, Ludwig and Aldrich have visited countless bars, breweries, distilleries, and wineries—always extolling their motto: The Art of Drinking Well. (