Milkshakes: An American Diner Staple

A juicy burger, crisp french fries, and a cold and creamy milkshake. No diner order is complete without this dreamy dessert-like drink.

History of Milkshakes

Before the milkshakes we know today, there was malted milk, a drink made from milk, chocolate syrup, and malted milk powder. In 1922, Ivar “Pop” Coulson, an employee at a Walgreens soda fountain in Chicago, had the idea to add vanilla ice cream to the malted milk. Walgreens started selling the shake at their soda fountain and it became an instant hit. Malted milkshakes were soon sold in ice cream parlors and soda shops (often referred to as malt shops) throughout the country.

Milkshakes shot further up in popularity in the 1930s, when freon refrigerators and an improved version of the blender were invented. Over time, the malted milk powder was dropped from the recipe and new iterations of the milkshake popped up everywhere.

Though malt shops are all but non-existent now, milkshakes remain a beloved all-American beverage. They’re sold in diners, made in households everywhere, and enjoyed all across the globe.

Image Credit: RitaE from Pixabay 

Taste of Milkshakes

At their core, milkshakes are sweet, rich, and creamy. Their thick airy texture coats the tongue, letting the flavors saturate your palate, while the ice-cold temperature keeps the drink refreshing and prevents it from being too cloying. Milkshakes are available in a variety of flavors, from classics like chocolate and vanilla to inventive options like birthday cake or matcha.

How to Make a Milkshake

Milkshakes are made by blending milk and ice cream on their own or with flavorings. Flavored syrup is the standard choice, but there’s a wide range of ingredients that you can incorporate. Fruits, different flavors of ice cream, and even coffee or tea are some great options to get you started.

Image Credit: Fabiano Silva from Pixabay 

If you’re feeling adventurous, you can add herbs and spices such as mint, cinnamon, or even basil. You can also switch up the kind of milk and ice cream used. Plant-based milks such as almond milk, oat milk, and soy milk are increasingly popular choices as more people are transitioning to plant-forward eating habits.

Feature Image: PhotosbyLeif from Pixabay 

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