Milkshakes. One sip and you are immediately brought back to your childhood. It seems like milkshakes have always been a part of our lives, it’s easy to assume they’ve been here for generations and generations. But have you ever stopped to think about where milkshakes came from, when they were invented, and how they came to be?

At Hi-Fi Kitchen and Cocktails, we’re big fans of milkshakes, especially our signature boozy milkshakes. We think combining ice cream and booze to create adult milkshakes was the best idea ever, and we have a history to thank for that. In this blog, we’re going to shake things up and take a look at the history of these cold, sweet, and delicious treats.

Starting Off As an Adult Beverage

When you think of milkshakes, you probably think of drinking one as a kid on a hot summer’s day or at your local mom n’ pop diner. While most people would picture milkshakes as something you and the kids can enjoy together, it turns out that wasn’t always the case. In fact, the first milkshake was introduced in 1885 as an alcoholic whiskey drink, somewhat similar in nature and consistency to eggnog. 

Evolving Into A Family-Friendly Treat

The recipe for the late 1800s adult milkshake must not have tasted very good, because they didn’t last too long. By the early 1900s, the booze was taken out and the term milkshake was now used to define wholesome drinks made with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla syrup. The evolution of this tasty treat has a lot to do with the production of electric mixers and blenders. Before blenders became popular, milkshakes were hand-shaken, which explains why they had a texture similar to eggnog. This first blender was released in 1922 by a fellow named Steven Poplawski. Little did Steve know that his invention was just what was needed to make milkshakes in their whipped modern form. 

Around the same time blenders were brought to the picture, so was ice cream. A man named Ivar “Pop” Coulson decided to add vanilla ice cream to his favorite malted milk drink, creating the first malted milkshake drink. With time, the frozen drink concoction spread, making it one of the most popular drinks at soda fountains and burger joints.

The Heyday of Milkshakes

Fast forward to the 1950s, milkshakes were prevalent menu option at diners, lunch counters, soda foundations, and burger joints. These establishments are what many diners and restaurants today are based on, from vinyl booths and checkerboard floor tiles to jukeboxes to neon signs. These places usually featured a milkshake mixing machine of some kind, and milkshakes were served in tall glasses, typically topped with whipped cream and a cherry. 

Booze Makes A Comeback

Milkshakes today are still similar to the iconic drink that was so popular in the 50s. Many now include a blend of different candies and flavors to create a delicious and irresistible treat. However, there is now an option for adult milkshakes and we promise they taste way better than those that were popular in the late 1800s. Restaurants and bars everywhere are starting to incorporate boozy milkshakes into their drink menus. We’re not sure who first decided to try adding alcohol to ice cream milkshakes, but whoever they are, we should be thankful for bringing the idea to us when they did! With boozy milkshakes, adults can enjoy a classic treat but with the twist they need for a good night. 

Try A Boozy Milkshake At Hi-Fi

Are you craving an adult milkshake? If so, head on over to Hi-Fi Kitchen and Cocktails and try flavors like Oreo Cookie or Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup!