Last week was National Vanilla Milkshake Day and July is National Ice Cream month. The first thoughts that ran through my mind were this song and all the milkshakes I have had the pleasure of consuming through the years! Everyone has a favorite, what’s yours?
Here’s the delectable and short history of the milkshake. The term milkshake was first used during late 1880’s, referring to eggnog type drinks with liquor usually whiskey. They were served as tonics as well as treats. The face of milkshakes changed forever when the electric blender or drink-mixer, as it was also known, was invented in 1922 by Steven Poplawski. That same year, an employee of Walgreens Drugstore in Chicago (Ivar “pop” Coulson) made the first milkshake by adding two scoops of vanilla ice cream to the standard malted milk drink recipe and, ”voila,” the milkshake was born.
During the 1930’s, malt shoppes made milkshakes popular. In 1936, Earl Prince invented the multi-mixer, a revolutionary machine that could make five milkshakes at once; the rest is history.
I’m sure by now you are having images of ice cream counters during the 1950’s with soda jerks making the “White Cow” (Vanilla Milkshake), “Shake one in the hay” (Strawberry Shake) or “Burn one all the way” (chocolate malted with chocolate ice cream). During this era milkshakes were also known as frappes, velvets and frosted. The term frappe is still used in New England.
The milkshake counters of the neighborhood drugstore are long gone but counters , you can still hear an order for a Moose Tracks milkshake (vanilla ice cream with chocolate and caramel), and, with each generation this heavenly nectar has been improved and embellished and geared towards children and adults alike.
Me, I love all milkshakes. Whether it’s an old fashioned hand scooped strawberry, a new fangled Moose Tracks or a McDonald’s Shamrock Shake; I will happily drink them all and sometimes come back for seconds.