The first milkshakes appeared in the late 1800s and were eggnog type drinks that did not include ice cream, but made up for the lack by adding whiskey. By the turn of the century, milkshakes had evolved towards what we know today and were mixed with chocolate, strawberry or vanilla syrup, sometimes with ice cream (but no whiskey).
The next step towards today’s milkshakes occurred in 1911 when Louis Hamilton and Chester Beach, the founders of Hamilton Beach, developed an electric drink mixer. A nearby business, Milkshake Maker the Horlick Malted Milk Company, had urged them to develop an appliance that made it easier to mix malted milkshakes.
Hamilton Beach’s drink mixer was introduced and was an immediate success, and with it malted milk shakes became a popular addition to soda fountains throughout the United States.
Milkshakes of the time were thick with real ice cream, milk and syrup. For a malted milkshake, malt powder (an evaporated mixture of barley, wheat flour and milk) was added.
The drink mixer was later refined into the blender, and milkshakes became the more modern frothy type (although the thicker milkshakes are considered preferable by many connoisseurs).
The modern fast food “milkshakes” are usually a non-dairy, partially gelatinized, gum based substance that many consider a milkshake in name only.
In the 1930s, automated “multimixer” milkshake mixers were introduced that could make multiple milkshakes at once. These were primarily used in soda fountains that needed to blend multiple milkshakes at a time, although many smaller shops continued to use the single milkshake mixers.
Although there are few soda fountains left today, traditional milkshake mixers can still be found today at restaurants and cafes that serve quality milkshakes. If good quality ingredients are used, an equally tasty milkshake can also be made with a blender.
The basic design of the milkshake maker hasn’t changed much over the years, and many of the current appliances would fit right in with the dÃ©cor of a 1950s soda fountain. This is great if you’re trying to put together a retro style kitchen (even if you’re not, you can’t go too far wrong making milkshakes!).
You can even buy a retro style milkshake mixer from Hamilton Beach, the company that helped invent the modern milkshake. If you really like milkshakes and want to invite all your friends over, commercial milkshake makers such as the Hamilton Beach HMD400 Commercial Drink Mixer are available and can make multiple milkshakes at a time – just like in a retro soda fountain!