Nothing beats a nice cold ice cream shake during the summer. What many people don’t realize is that this treat first began to develop in the middle of the 19th century. From there, it has grown in popularity to the point that everything from fast food to upscale restaurants offer this delight.
The Earliest Shakes
Many people are surprised to learn that the earliest shakes did not include the use of ice cream. In the latter part of the 19th century, shakes were first prepared as a thickened bever-age that was more or less the consistency of eggnog. The shake was fortified with some type of alcohol, and offered as both an after dinner drink and a tonic for people with nervous condi-tions.
Becoming Family Fare
In the early years of the 20th century, many drugstores expanded their facilities to include soda fountains. One of the offerings found at these facilities was a variation on the old tonic shake. Using whole milk and ice cream as the base ingredients, it was possible to infuse the treat with different types of syrups and chunks of fruit. Adding nuts and whipped cream also became popular choices by the middle of the 20th century.
One notable innovation occurred in the 1920’s, when an employee with Walgreens came up with the idea of using malted milk with ice cream. This produced a creamy texture that could easily be augmented with any flavors that the customers desired.
The use of blenders and mixers makes it easy to prepare ice cream shakes at home today. Many restaurants have specific equipment that make it easy to create a shake in minutes. Thanks to the ease of mixing shakes, it is very easy to prepare one that includes any range of flavors and ingredients that the customer desires.
Not all shakes are made with ice cream today. There are health shakes designed for people with different types of health issues, including diabetes and joint problems. Others are de-signed for use by people who are attempting to lose weight. Most of these types of shakes can be chilled to thicken the consistency and provide more of a traditional shake experience.