Talk about comfort food. It's 86 degrees out, and bartender Jennifer Trevino plunks down a frosty glass of pale mocha-colored ice cream marbled with veins of chocolate.
A mini-Everest of whipped cream soars above the glass' rim, the peak blanketed with a dusting of extra-fine Oreo cookie crumbs.
But it's what's mixed in that makes this shake: This is ice cream blended with beer - locally brewed, velvety-black Oatmeal Stout from Four Peaks Brewery in Tempe.
A recipe for the $6.49 shake appears in "Tastes & Treasures: A Storytelling Cookbook of Historic Arizona," a local tome that's been named a regional winner of the Tabasco Community Cookbook Award. A collection of recipes from 13 time-honored sites across Arizona, the book is a fundraising project of Historical League Inc., a nonprofit group affiliated with Arizona Historical Society Museum at Papago Park in Tempe.
"We've won several awards, but the Tabasco award is big. We're all just thrilled," says Ruth McLeod, a member of the league. Tabasco, famous for its Avery Island, La., hot sauce, bestows its award annually to nine cookbooks that preserve America's culinary history and raise money for charity.
"We wrote to historic venues of hospitality around the state and asked them to submit recipes," says McLeod. "We wanted to promote the history of these beautiful old places, and the cookbook gave us a way to collect their stories in one spot."
Prickly pear vinaigrette from Paradise Valley's Hermosa Inn and green chili grits from El Tovar Lodge at Grand Canyon are among the more than 200 recipes featured. The book includes a chapter of recipes from state "Historymakers." Selections include Rose Mofford's childhood pasties, Barry Goldwater's mother's black walnut stew and Erma Bombeck's tortilla soup recipe, which the author obtained from a generous Mexican cook while on vacation in Cabo San Lucas.
As for the beer shake, your homemade version may not taste quite the same.
"If you want the real deal, you'll have to come here," Trevino says from behind the wooden bar at Four Peaks' 1892 brick Borden's Creamery building. (Four Peaks doesn't bottle Oatmeal Stout for sale in stores.) "But you can substitute just about any oatmeal stout in the liquor or grocery stores."
If tequila is more your thing, Gaye Ingram, co-author of the book, recommends a cool, tart and salty treat from Rancho de la Osa, an adobe hacienda in Sasabe that dates to the 1830s.
"Their margarita pie is luscious. I made one for my bridge club, and they all helped eat it," she says.