Wow, originally milkshakes were alcoholic drinks. I mean seriously, wow. Could you imagine walking into a bar and ordering a milkshake with the end result being you get plastered? Or being refused a milkshake because you were under age? This was the bizarre circumstances in the late 19th century.
The first known use of the word, milkshake in print was in 1885. At that time it didn’t refer to the delicious milk beverage we know today. Back then a milkshake was alcoholic and comprised ingredients such as whiskey and eggs. The drink was described as being healthful and sturdy.
The alcoholic milkshakes were to have a short life though. By 1900 the drink had evolved to resemble the one we know today. No longer did it contain any alcohol, instead the flavouring came from chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla syrup.
With it’s growing popularity, Walgreens employee Ivar “Pop” Coulson added an obvious tasty ingredient that would begin to catapult the drink to even greater heights of popularity. He mixed none other than ice cream to the malted milk drink. This proved to be a boom addition to milkshakes, and it soon became one if the most requested drinks among young adults.
With the advent of the freon-cooled refrigerators during the 1930’s, the process of making milkshakes became automated. A few decades later, a salesman, Ray Kroc, purchased the exclusive rights to a milkshake maker. Many of the industrial machines that you see in fast food restaurants today resemble this very milkshake maker.
The evolution of the milkshake has now gone full circle. In an effort to lure new and younger drinkers to their products, distillers have started to produce alcoholic drinks that taste similar to the delicious milky drink many of us grew up with. Who would ever have thought?