Happiest Hour 

Big Dipper eggnog ice cream shake

'Tis the season: My editor insisted that I write this column about eggnog, with Christmas days away. I rolled my eyes. Who drinks eggnog anymore? Seems a passing tradition. These days, kids are more into peppermint martinis and such. But then I noticed that the Big Dipper is making eggnog ice cream, and a brilliant idea came to me.

The eggnog shake: I love milkshakes. Rum's pretty good too. So I swung by the Big Dipper to grab a pint of its eggnog ice cream and pulled my Captain Morgan and blender from the cabinet. I dropped four scoops of ice cream, two shots of rum and a couple of dashes of half-and-half into the blender, and whipped my shake until it was good and frothy.

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A new favorite: The ice cream's good on its own, but the rum in the shake really pulls out the nutmeg and cinnamon flavors. It's damn tasty and (warning!) goes down way too easy, like any other milkshake. Homemade eggnog purists may scoff at such a crude concoction, but it's about time eggnog got freshened up a bit. Enjoy!

Where to find it: Big Dipper, 631 S. Higgins Ave. They can make you a shake, but you're on your own with the liquor.

Happiest Hour celebrates western Montana watering holes. To recommend a bar, bartender or beverage for Happiest Hour, e-mail editor@missoulanews.com.

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