Shake it, Baby!


I have a new appreciation for this cold, creamy treat. The classic chocolate, strawberry, and vanilla flavors still hold their own, but new choices and inventive combinations have given the milk shake an amazing journey to awesomeness!

For instance, the Big Top Candy Shop, headed by Brandon Hodge, offers a wasabi milk shake that will make your mouth question every sip while still being excited and over joyed at the experience. With so many different options at so many places, you really have to take your famiy or friends on a weekend tour. This is a fabulous way to spend the day getting to know everyone’s taste buds. Who knew ice cream and milk could manifest such greatness!

When the term was first printed in 1885, “milk shake” described an alcoholic whiskey drink. A sturdy, healthful eggnog type of drink with eggs and whiskey, it served as a tonic as well as a treat. By the early 1900s, though, people were asking for a more wholesome drink—a hand- shaken mixture of crushed ice, milk, sugar and flavorings.

In 1911, Hamilton Beach drink mixers made their appearance at soda fountains (enter scoops of ice cream). When the electric blender (or drink mixer) was invented in 1922, milk shakes began to take their modern whipped, aerated and frothy form. By the 1930s, milk shakes were popular at malt shops and soda fountains and a great excuse to hang out with friends.


Back in the day, I made milk shakes at a bar/restaurant/game place. The flavors were simply chocolate, strawberry, vanilla, and malted. This was fine on the days that I had 26 tickets at a time, but now the flavors are limitless. You gotta get out there with your loved ones and try a bunch. Everyone’s taste buds are different, and it’s fun to share and find out each other’s favorite flavors.


It’s in the name and is a key ingredient. With all of our milk choices today, whole milk is definitely the way to go. Come on, it’s a milk shake! Thankfully, I haven’t heard anyone ordering a soy, nonfat milk shake. If it’s offered, I can understand asking for organic.


Amy’s, Blue Bell, Lick, or any ice cream flavor or brand can be transformed into this wonderful treat. Make sure touse a good quality ice cream if you are making them at home. The ice cream’s fat content can influence the thickness of a shake. Less fat usually makes them a bit thinner, but very slurp-able. Some places use soft-serve ice cream, which works and makes it easier for high-volume shake making.


The “soda jerks” at Big Top Candy Shop go through extensive training on milk shake and soda fountain drink making. Making a shake at home, how- ever, usually happens in a blender, unless you have a Hamilton Beach drink mixer or a hand mixer. Keep in mind that the thickness of the shake depends on the amount of milk you use, the type of ice cream, and the mixing time. In my book, there’s just something about scooping ice cream, pouring the milk and holding the mixer steady with my hand while the milk shake forms.


3 scoops of ice cream
11⁄2 cups milk
2 oz flavored syrup or anything you think would taste groovy
Dash of imagination!

This part is very simple. Just add all the ingredients together in a blender and blend to your desired thickness. Pour it out, grab a great big straw, and enjoy. It’s heaven in a glass. Yum!