Surprisingly, milkshakes did not get their start the way you think. The original milkshakes, popular and first written about in 1885, were a concoction of egg, whiskey and sugar with some milk added. They were used as a “tonic” and a treat. As time passed people became more inventive and adventuresome and added other ingredients, varying the flavors, and making them much more exciting. Today you can have milkshakes of all flavors and nutrient value. Prepared with skim milk and frozen yogurt they can taste just as good as with whole milk and ice cream.
Around the early 1900s milkshakes were closer to what we know today, and were described as “wholesome drinks made with chocolate, strawberry or vanilla syrups”. But note the absence of ice cream. Sometime in 1922 a Walgreens employee added ice cream to a traditional malted milk drink, and it became a hit. In the 1930s milkshakes made with ice cream were called “frosted”. It was that year that with the advent of Freon cooled refrigeration made storage and transportation of ice cream safe and practical. Between the 1930s and 1950s milkshakes and malts made with ice cream were the rave, a fact made even more popular by the movie industry. Who can forget the many scenes set in malt shops? By the ‘50s milkshakes were prepared using a variety of automated machines, a variety of ingredients, and the rest is history. Now we use not only milk and ice cream, but milkshakes can be made with non-dairy, low fat and low sugar ingredients. The addition of fruits and vegetables enhances their nutritional value and makes them much more than a pleasure to drink.