Fancy a Milkshake Anyone?

Who doesn’t love a thick creamy milkshake? It’s certainly one of our favourite indulgences and takes us back to childhood days when it felt like a very special treat indeed. It seems that milkshakes have been popular for many generations which got us to thinking about the origins of this delicious drink; where did they come from, when were they invented, and how did they come into being?

In case you’re wondering why this post isn’t about cafe furniture, it’s because we’ve recently begun to supply benchtop and cafe equipment to complement our furniture range, and …… yes, you’ve guessed, we’ve got a special deal going right now on milk shake mixers!

Anyway, now we’ve cleared that up, let’s delve a little deeper into the history of the milkshake. Although these days it’s considered a delicious treat for all ages, you might be surprised to learn that it wasn’t always this way and they weren’t suitable for everyone.

Adults only

Milkshakes originated in 1885 in America only rather than a wholesome milk flavoured drink, they contained whisky, eggs and milk and had a similar appearance and consistency to an eggnog. In fact, they had to be mixed by hand because the hand mixer hadn’t yet been invented. So instead of the whole family enjoying a treat together, this ‘milkshake’ was instead a boozy drink and sometimes even a ‘pick me up’ for adults only.

Family friendly

This trend didn’t last too long and by the 1900’s milkshakes were made from a mixture of milk and malt flavoured with vanilla, chocolate or strawberry syrup which were suitable as a treat for the entire family.

Mainstream milkshakes

The history of the electric blender, malt milk drinks, and milkshakes are inextricably linked. Before the blender was invented ‘milkshakes’ were more like an egg nog and then in the 1900’s they were hand shaken with crushed ice, milk, sugar, and assorted flavours. In 1922 Steven Poplawski invented the electric blender and milkshakes started to be served with a frothy, whipped, and aerated consistency.

It was a Walgreen’s employee, Ivar Coulson, also known as ‘pop’ who was credited with the creation of the milkshake that we know today. As mentioned above milkshakes at that time we made from a basic mixture of milk with a spoonful of malt powder and mostly chocolate syrup poured first into a metal container and then served in a glass. Pop Coulson revolutionised the drink by adding first one scoop of vanilla ice cream to the mix and then another and hey presto the traditional milkshake was born.

In the late 1930’s the term ‘frosted’ was also used to refer to milkshakes that contained ice cream and this saw the invention of chilled coffee, which was then transformed from a hot beverage into a chilled, frosty drink containing both ice and ice cream.

Milk shake fever

Despite plunging profits in the family restaurant business, milk shake sales rose steadily by 11% in the USA in 2006. Milkshakes were also being enjoyed in other areas of the globe, including the UK and Australia. In 2015 a new cafe opened in Canberra called Patissez and created a viral meltdown with its new line of ice cream monstrosities. Containing ingredients such as marsh mallows, chocolate fudge, pecans, salty caramel, and topped with puff pastry, these were milkshakes the like of which no-one had seen before.

If you want to unleash your inner milk shake creativity and dazzle your customers, then we’re currently offering large discounts on a variety of milk shake and drink mixers, but hurry as they’re flying off our shelves.