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In 1885, The Term “Milkshake” First Showed Up In Print. It Contained Whiskey

On June 20th each year, National Vanilla Milkshake Day celebrates the cold beverage made with vanilla ice cream, vanilla, and milk.

  • In 1885, the term “milkshake” showed up in print for the first time. The concoction of cream, eggs, and whiskey was often served with other alcoholic tonics such as lemonades and soda waters.
  • By 1900, a milkshake often referred to “wholesome drinks made with chocolate, strawberry or vanilla syrups.”
  • In these frothy beverages, ice cream was nowhere to be found. However, a few years later in the early 1900s, people began asking for this new treat with a scoop of ice cream.
  • By the 1930s, malt shops were serving milkshakes all over the United States.
  • ‘Shakes’ got their name from being served in bars. If the customer enjoyed the specialty drink, he shook hands with the bartender. If not, the bartender wouldn’t get a tip.
  • The first diner milkshakes were made with a mixture of milk, malt and flavoring (vanilla, chocolate, etc.). The malt added an ‘ice cream’ texture to the drink.
  • Steven Poplawski invented the electric blender in 1922 just for milkshakes. Before that, the effort of shaking them up must have required a lot of upper body motion.
  •  In parts of New England, a milkshake is often referred to as a “frappe” (the e is silent)
  • According to The Guinness Book of World Records, in 2000 Ira Freehof, made the world’s largest milkshake. At 6,000 gallons it was the equivalent of 50,000 normal-sized shakes.
  • Malted milk powder was invented in 1897 by James and William Horlick, but it was Ivar Coulson, a soda jerk for a Walgreen’s drug store, who first added it to milkshakes in 1922. This created the malted milkshake or just plain “malt.”
  • A surefire cure for hangovers is to drink a banana milkshake sweetened with honey. It helps soothe your stomach, plus it builds up depleted blood sugar levels and electrolytes such as magnesium and potassium.
  • It’d take 3,200,000 average-sized milkshakes to fill up an Olympic-sized pool.
  • Milkshakes were a popular food of the extras dressed in ape costumes during filming of the original PLANET OF THE APES movie. Their masks didn’t allow them to eat a regular meal, but they place a straw in their mouths.
  • The milkshake made it into the mainstream when in 1922 a Walgreens employee in Chicago, Ivar “Pop” Coulson, took an old-fashioned malted milk (milk, chocolate, and malt) and added two scoops of ice cream, creating a drink which became popular at a surprising rate, soon becoming a high-demand drink for young adults around the country.
  • By the 1950s, popular places to drink milkshakes were Woolworth’s “5 & 10” lunch counters, diners, burger joints, and drugstore soda fountains. These establishments often prominently displayed a shining chrome or stainless steel milkshake mixing machine.
  • The Comfort Diners, Parmalat USA, and the American Dairy Association made the world’s largest milkshake with a volume of 22,712.47 liters (6,000 US gal.) equivalent of 50,000 normal-sized shakes! The record-breaking milkshake was made in New York, USA on 1 August 2000 to mark The Comfort Diners’ Fourth Annual August Milkshake Celebration.
  • In 1963 the CIA unsuccessfully tried to assassinate Fidel Castro with a poisoned chocolate milkshake.
  • Nestlé invented the first chocolate-flavored powdered milkshake mix in the USA in 1948. It was marketed under the name of Nestlé Quik.


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