This recipe was inspired by Irazu, my favorite Costa Rican restaurant in Chicago, which also has the distinction of being the only Costa Rican restaurant in Chicago. This place is always packed, and for good reason. The food is fantastic, authentic, and vegetarian friendly. There’s something so magical about walking into that restaurant in the dead of winter. The rustic beach-y decor always makes feel as if I’ve just stepped into the movie The Blue Lagoon. One of the things they are famous for is their oatmeal shake, which sounds healthy and unpleasant, but I was delighted to find it was in fact, quite delicious. It’s more like an horchata milkshake, with a generous dusting of cinnamon on top.
It’s nearly perfect as is, but almost anything can be improved with the addition of alcohol. The charming and knowledgeable proprietor of my local independent wine and spirits shop was pretty horrified when I told him what I wanted to do. Like a pro, he recovered quickly and recommended that since I was putting this in a milkshake basically, I should just buy the least expensive rum that they carried. I was confused because the bottle he pointed me to did not boast a pirate nor a parrot on the bottle, but he assured me several times that this was indeed rum.
Oats and honey are as wholesome and comforting as it gets, and I like the contrast between the icy frozen drink and the warm booziness of rum. You can try to trick yourself into thinking this is a nutritious breakfast if you prefer. The oatmeal may lower your cholesterol, the honey has antibacterial properties and the rum… it’ll give you a nice spike in your blood sugar levels?
OAT AND HONEY BOOZY MILKSHAKE
Makes 1 milkshake
3/4 cup raw quick-cooking oats
2.5 oz honey Syrup (1:1 ratio of honey to water-this helps the honey dissolve better in the shake)*
2 oz Half and Half (you can substitute the milk of your choice: soy, almond, rice, etc.)
1 cup Crushed Ice
2 oz. Rum (I used El Dorado 5 Year Old Demerara Rum, which my liquor guy said was inexpensive but still good enough to drink on the rocks)
1/4 tsp Cinnamon plus more for Dusting
Blend oatmeal, honey syrup, rum, ice, and 1/4 tsp cinnamon for about 45 seconds. Pour into a tall glass. Grate cinnamon on top.
*I like my drinks on the less sweet side, so I went pretty light on the honey, feel free to double the amount.