A simple Bushwacker recipe with ice cream, so you can enjoy the creamy, frozen cocktail at home. Only 6 easy-to-find ingredients
About the Bushwacker Drink
Think of a Bushwacker as a boozy milkshake: thick, creamy, and full of alcohol.
The Bushwacker recipe was originally created in the '70s at the Ship's Store in St. Thomas, Virgin Islands. It's a popular frozen cocktail at many restaurants in Orange Beach, Alabama, Pensacola, Florida, and other southern spots.
This simple Bushwacker drink is a little less rich than the one you'd get at a bar or restaurant but still full of flavor and booze.
Typically, Bushwacker cocktail ingredients are dark rum, Kahlúa, crème de cacao, cream of coconut, milk, and ice.
However, this version uses more common ingredients: ice cream, milk, ice, coconut rum, coffee liqueur, and light or dark rum (depending on your own personal preference).
Bushwacker Cocktail Ingredients
Ice Cream: Any vanilla ice cream you like best will work in this recipe. The alcohol takes over most of the flavor, so the ice cream taste isn't very important. Simply buy the vanilla or vanilla bean ice cream you prefer (or is on sale to help your budget).
Milk: You are using a small amount of milk, so any milk will work here. Honestly, the milk isn't completely necessary if you forget it. Simply use a little more ice cream.
Coconut rum: The original recipe calls for coconut cream, but it's not always easy to find. That's why coconut rum is used for you to still get the coconut flavor in an easier-to-find place.
Coffee-flavored liqueur: Any coffee-flavored liqueur will work; the recipe was tested using Kahlua. Coffee liqueur gives added depth and richness to the Bushwacker cocktail plus sweetness.
Rum: Light or dark rum both work well, so this is up to you on personal preference.
You have the option to top the Bushwacker with a "floater" which is an extra shot of rum after you pour the drinks into cups. Many bars & restaurants will use Bacardi 151, but that makes the drink very strong. The recipe below suggests topping the Bushwacker with more of the rum that was used inside the drink, yet it is also optional.
Cost of Recipe
- ice 4 cups: $0
- vanilla ice cream 2 cups: $1.68
- milk ¼ cup: $0.16
- coconut rum 4 ounces: $1.80
- rum 4 ounces: $2.72
- coffee liqueur 4 ounces: $4.32
TOTAL COST: $10.68 or $1.34/serving (Based on San Diego grocery stores 2022)
Note that this is not the recipe; it's simply to show the cost breakdown of ingredients. Scroll down to the full recipe to see the specific ingredients and directions.
How to Make a Bushwacker
Time needed: 5 minutes.
How to make a Bushwacker with ice cream: add everything to a blender and blend. That's it!
- Add ice to a blender.
- Pour in coconut rum, rum, and coffee liqueur.
- Top with ice cream and milk.
Taste and add more alcohol or ice cream if desired.
- Pour the Bushwacker drink into cups or glasses.
- Top with extra rum and/or a cherry. Enjoy!
For a Richer Bushwacker Recipe
For an extra creamy Bushwacker, make your ice cubes with milk. Using half milk and half regular ice cubes makes for an extra creamy Bushwacker, but it does require a little extra planning. Honestly, it's not a significant difference.
If you decide to do this, plan an extra 4-8 hours for the milk to freeze. You can do this the night before, so the milk is frozen whenever you're ready to make the Bushwacker drinks.
How to Make Allergy-Friendly
If you want these to be dairy free, be sure to use dairy-free ice cream and milk.
Bushwackers are naturally gluten-free. Based on the ice cream you use, it can be soy-free and egg-free.
If you don't have any milk, use a little extra ice cream in its place. You'll use the same amount of ice cream as you would for milk - about ¼ cup.
How to Fix a Mistake
Too thin: Add an extra 1 cup of ice cubes or ½ cup of ice cream, and blend. Repeat until it reaches your desired consistency.
Too thick: Add an extra ¼ cup milk or rum, and blend. Repeat until it reaches your desired consistency.
Too strong: Add an extra 1 cup of ice cubes or ½ cup milk or ice cream, and blend. Taste and add more if needed.
Not strong enough: Add an extra ¼ cup of rum, and blend. Taste and add more if needed.
It's not recommended to make this Bushwacker cocktail recipe in advance since they will melt.
The only time you'd want to plan ahead is to make milk ice cubes for a creamier Bushwacker. In that case, you'll need to freeze the milk about 4 to 8 hours in advance depending on the temperature of your freezer and the size of your ice cube trays.
Keep the leftovers in the freezer. If storing for a short time, keep covered in the blender. When you're ready to drink them again, pull them out of the freezer. Let them thaw for about 5 minutes; then do a quick pulse on the blender to make them smooth again.
If storing for longer than 24 hours, use an airtight container to store and leave at room temperature for about 15 to 30 minutes until softened. Transfer to a blender and add a little ice or a scoop of ice cream to thicken.
Frequently Asked Questions
Serve the Bushwacker drinks in any glass or cup. Restaurants and bars use hurricane glasses, plastic cups, or glasses.
Pour the Bushwacker into a cup and top with a splash of extra rum and/or a cherry.
For something extra, drizzle about 1 teaspoon of chocolate sauce into each glass before pouring in the Bushwacker.
Yes, you technically can. Prepare then freeze. Let thaw for about 5-10 minutes at room temperature. Then blend until smooth and creamy, and enjoy.
Yes, you can adjust the serving size on the recipe card below. Something to note is that you might want to use a smaller blender if you have one so it blends easily.
The nutritional benefits of a Bushwacker drink are that it's delicious and fun. Rich, filling, and sweet, so you'll probably only want one or two.
What to Serve with Bushwackers
This Buckwacker recipe with ice cream is for the over 21-group, and please enjoy responsibly.
These are best served with food since they are kinda strong. Anything you'd want to eat with a milkshake will do.
They are so simple and serve a crowd, so there's no need to painstakingly make everyone their own drink. Simply blend and pour.
Pretty much everyone loves them. And they're also great for an after-dinner drink in the summer.
MORE FROZEN COCKTAIL RECIPES YOU'LL LOVE:
- 4 cups ice
- 2 cups vanilla ice cream
- ¼ cup milk
- 4 ounces coconut rum Malibu
- 4 ounces coffee flavored liqueur Kahlúa
- 4 ounces rum
- Add ice cubes, ice cream, milk, coconut rum, coffee flavored liqueur, and rum to a blender. Blend until completely smooth.
- Taste and add more coffee-flavored liqueur or coconut rum if needed.
- Serve in 6 glasses. Top Bushwackers with extra rum, if desired, before serving. Enjoy!
What to Use in This Recipe
This post was originally published on April 26, 2013. Text, recipe, and photos have been updated.
Bushwacker Recipe Nutrition Facts