A Trip Down Memory Lane. Australian Milk Bar Red Back Spiders. Vanilla Ice Cream, Raspberry Coulis And Coca Cola.

Remembering  the good old  Aussie Milk Bar. The cornerstone of any self respecting city suburb or country town. Mixed businesses usually run by Greek or Italian immigrants. Friendly, communal places where you could pick up the newspaper, a bottle of milk and loaf of bread. Or more importantly a bag of mixed lollies, an ice-cream, hamburger or milkshake. The ultimate after school treat, however, were  ice-cream spiders. Available in an array of popular soft drink flavours. Coca Cola, Creaming Soda and Passiona. My favourite?  The Red Back Spider. A concoction of  vanilla ice-cream, and raspberry syrup muddled together in an icy cold  glass. Topped with coca cola. Perched on a stool at the counter, slurping my spider through a candy striped straw I was convinced I would be the envy of my friends.

This weekend we made the most of the unseasonably warm weather  with back to back barbecues. A very easy option. For dessert nothing could be simpler than Red Back Spiders. Chilled glasses and bottles of Coca Cola were set out for my guests, together with jars of raspberry coulis, tubs of ice cream and bowls of raspberries. A quick show and tell on how to put it all together and self assembly is the order of the day.  A wonderful talking point that puts a smile on everybody’s face.

Nostalgic and a little bit of fun, there really is no set recipe. I like to use a good quality vanilla ice cream with both raspberry coulis  and fresh raspberries instead of the more traditional  artificial topping. Here’s a quick rundown on  how I prepared my Red Back Spiders. As always feel free to improvise or embellish as you like.

For Each Red Back Spider

Use chilled bottles of Coca Cola.  Also chill your glasses by placing them in the freezer or refrigerator for up to two hours.

2 scoops vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon raspberry coulis (recipe follows)
1 tablespoon fresh raspberries
Up to 200 ml Coca Cola, depending on the size of your glass

PLACE one scoop of ice cream in a chilled glass. Top with raspberry coulis and half a tablespoon of fresh raspberries.
POUR in enough coca cola until the glass is 2/3 full. The mixture will froth and bubble.
ADD another scoop of ice cream and the remaining half a tablespoon of fresh raspberries.
TOP UP the glass with a little more coca cola, taking care not to overfill.
SERVE with a straw and long-handled spoon and extra coca cola on the side.

Raspberry Coulis
Makes 3/4 cup

500 g frozen raspberries
1/3 cup caster sugar
finely grated zest of one lemon

PLACE frozen raspberries, lemon zest and sugar into a large non-stick frying pan. Stir to combine.
COOK, stirring often, over medium heat until bubbling. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes or until the fruit is very tender. Using a wooden spoon, crush the raspberries until puréed.
REMOVE from heat and set aside to cool. Pass the mixture through a fine mesh sieve to strain, pressing down with the back of a wooden spoon to force the fruit and juices through. Discard the seeds.
TRANSFER the coulis to a glass jar and refrigerate until ready to serve.

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5 Responses to A Trip Down Memory Lane. Australian Milk Bar Red Back Spiders. Vanilla Ice Cream, Raspberry Coulis And Coca Cola.

  1. I’ve never heard of these but they are SUCH a great idea!

  2. ohlidia says:

    A trip down memory lane indeed!

  3. Michael says:

    What a great throwback, reminds me of home 🙂

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