Today is National Milkshake Day.
I know, I know, it’s ridiculous, we have a day for everything!
The first time the term milkshake was used in print was in 1885. Back then they were an alcoholic drink made with whiskey.
It was a “sturdy, healthful eggnog type drink which contained eggs, whiskey, and milk.”
OK, so it’s not your momma’s milkshake!
It was a tonic, sorta like a toddy if you will.
Around the turn of the 20th century, the word became connected to ice-cream drinks made with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla syrups.
By the time the 1930s rolled around, milkshakes were all the rage at malt shops and soda fountains.
Pre-shopping mall days, teens hung out there!
“Technology” really gave rise to the milkshake.
The onset of the electric blender made milkshakes more like eggnog. Prior its entry into the marketplace, milkshakes were shaken by hand and were a mixture of crushed ice, milk, sugar, and flavors.
Hamilton Beach started selling mixers to soda fountains in the early 1900s and Steven Poplawski invented the blender in 1922.
With Steven’s creation, the milkshake became perfected!
Malteds or Malts had been around for a while, and were actually popularized by Walgreens Drug Stores back when most drug stores had a soda jerk behind a counter.
Malts were a mixture of evaporated milk, malted barley, and wheat flower and were invented by William Horlick back in 1897. They were originally used as a “restorative health drink for disabled people and children.” They were also used as baby food!
But, since they tasted good, healthy folks lined UP to get them.
In 1922, a Walgreen’s soda jerk named Ivan “Pop” Coulson added two scoops of vanilla ice cream to the standard malted milk drink and, there you have it…Walgreen’s added Horlick’s Malted Milk to their menu!
Things really took off in the 30s when modern (Freon cooled) refrigerators were added. They provided a safe, reliable way of making milkshakes. Earl Prince used the basic concept of refrigeration when he invented his Multimixer, a whiz machine that could produce 5 shakes at once!
By the 1950s, milkshakes were standard fare at lunch counters, restaurants, and soda fountains.
Somewhere along the way they became a part of American culture just like apple pie, baseball, and Chevrolets!
So, to heck with the diet, it’s National Milkshake Day – splurge, after all tomorrow is another day!
Steak and Shake anyone?