Long before the Smoothie, the Slush Puppie, or the Frozen Yogurt, there was The Milkshake, our nation’s favourite treat.
Of course, it wasn’t always so sweet and innocent: To 19th-century foodies, the milkshake was more cocktail than dessert, with the original recipe calling for whiskey in addition to milk and eggs.
Over time, sweet syrups were added, then ice cream, followed by Malted milk powder, an evaporated mixture of barley, milk, and wheat flour. Malted milk powder was invented in 1897 by William Horlick as an easily digested restorative health drink for children and as an infant’s food.
The electric blender or drink mixer was invented by Steven Poplawski in 1922. With the invention of the blender, milkshakes began to take their modern, whipped, aerated, and frothy form.
The modern milkshake is ever-evolving. The ice cream should be soft, not frozen solid; the syrup should be well-mixed; the malt or flavor evenly distributed. Old school fans will only go for chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry, but a new generation has experimented with Oreos, peanut butter, chocolate bars, bananas, and even Marmite! The demise of the old-fashioned Milkshake Bar means milkshakes are almost always served not in ornate soda glasses but packed into insulated cups, but in the case of the sit-down milkshake experience, the best Milkshake Bar will offer patrons a proper glass.