Peach Shake with Brandy and Nutmeg

Just as the late Ella Fitzgerald was known as the First Lady of Song, the late Edna Lewis could easily have been called the First Lady of Flavor.  Her appreciation for great local ingredients, pitch-perfect sense of taste, and deep knowledge of southern cooking and foodways shone bright in her books.  My sister Amanda turned me on to the recipe for an unusual brandy and nutmeg dessert sauce in The Gift of Southern Cooking, Miss Lewis’s last book, co-written with Scott Peacock (Knopf, 2003).  The recipe headnote suggests serving the sauce with peach cobbler, a combination that seemed perfect for a milkshake.  A dusting of the grated nutmeg is a natural garnish here. 

Makes about 3½ cups


  • ¼ cup cold whole or lowfat milk (about 2 ounces)
  • ⅓ cup cognac or brandy (about 2½ ounces)
  • 1½ tablespoons peach jam or preserves (about ¾ ounce)
  • ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • ½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg, plus extra for garnish, if desired
  • 4 medium scoops peach ice cream (about 1 pint), softened until just melty at the edges
  • 4 medium scoops peach sorbet (about 1 pint), softened until just melty at the edges


  1. Place the milk, cognac, jam, vanilla extract, and nutmeg in a blender and blend to mix thoroughly, about 15 seconds. 
  2. Add the ice cream and sorbet and pulse several times to begin breaking them up. With the blender motor off, use a flexible spatula to mash the mixture down onto the blender blade. 
  3. Continue pulsing, stopping, and mashing until the mixture is well blended, thick, and moves easily in the blender jar, roughly 30 to 90 seconds. 
  4. Pour into a chilled glass or glasses, and serve at once.
Jim Scherer Photo