Milkshakes: A Very Brief History
Image Credit: PEXELS

THE origins of the milkshake can be traced back to the late 19th century when it was first introduced as an adult beverage containing eggs and whisky. However, it wasn't until the early 1900s that the milkshake we know and love today began to take shape. During this time, soda fountains became popular gathering places where people would enjoy refreshing beverages. It was in these soda fountains that the milkshake started to evolve. Originally made by hand-shaking milk, flavourings, and ice in a cocktail shaker, milkshakes were a frothy and indulgent treat.

The turning point for milkshakes came with the invention of the electric blender in 1922. This innovative device made it easier to blend ingredients together, resulting in a smoother and creamier texture. As a result, milkshakes gained widespread popularity, becoming a staple offering at soda fountains, diners, and ice cream parlours across the United States.

The classic vanilla milkshake, made by blending milk, ice cream, and vanilla flavouring, has remained a firm favourite throughout the years. Despite the introduction of numerous other flavours, the simplicity and elegance of the vanilla milkshake continue to charm taste buds around the world.

Here’s how to make the classic drink.

Recipe: Vanilla Milkshake


- 2 cups chilled milk

- 4 tablespoons sugar

- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 6-8 ice cubes

- Whipped cream (optional, for garnish)

- Chocolate shavings (optional, for garnish)


In a blender, add the chilled milk.

Add sugar and vanilla extract to the blender.

Add the ice cubes to the blender as well.

Blend all the ingredients together until smooth and creamy.

Taste the milkshake and adjust the sweetness or vanilla flavour as per your preference.

Pour the vanilla milkshake into serving glasses.

If desired, top the milkshake with a dollop of whipped cream.

Sprinkle some chocolate shavings on top for added decoration and flavour.

Serve the vanilla milkshake immediately and enjoy!

Note: You can customise this recipe by adding a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra creamy and indulgent milkshake. Simply reduce the amount of sugar accordingly based on your desired sweetness level. Feel free to experiment with additional toppings like chocolate syrup, sprinkles, or crushed cookies to make it even more delightful.

Fun Facts

1. The first milkshakes were actually alcoholic beverages, containing eggs and whisky.

2. The electric blender, invented by Stephen Poplawski in 1922, revolutionised the way milkshakes were made and enjoyed.

3. Vanilla is the only edible fruit-bearing member of the orchid family and is native to Central Mexico.

4. Milkshakes are called "thickshakes" in the UK.

5. The popular TV show "Riverdale" features a classic diner called Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe, where milkshakes are a staple on the menu. The show borrows this detail from the original Archie Comics of course, its source material.

Creative Twists 

1. Experiment with flavours: Give your vanilla milkshake a unique twist by adding a splash of your favourite syrup or a scoop of another ice cream flavour. You could even try blending in some fresh fruit for a refreshing change.

2. Host a milkshake party: Invite your friends and family over for a fun-filled milkshake party. Set up a DIY milkshake bar with a variety of ice creams, syrups, and toppings, allowing everyone to create their own personalised concoctions.

3. Try a new recipe: Search online for exciting vanilla milkshake recipes that incorporate unusual ingredients or techniques. You might discover a new favourite way to enjoy this classic treat.

4. Make a milkshake-inspired dessert: Get creative in the kitchen and whip up a dessert inspired by the flavours of a vanilla milkshake. Think vanilla milkshake cupcakes, milkshake-flavoured cookies, or even a milkshake-themed cake.

Whether you prefer to stick to the traditional recipe or experiment with new flavours and combinations, there's no denying the charm of a creamy, delicious vanilla milkshake.