Shake It Up

When the term “milkshake” was first used in 1885, it referred to a “health tonic” meant to cure various ailments. Milkshakes later evolved to include ice cream and, by the 1930s, they were a popular drink at drug stores and diners where kids would congregate after school.

The history of the milkshake is directly related to the invention of the electric blender. Before the widespread availability of electric blenders, milkshake-type drinks were a hand-shaken mixture of crushed ice and milk, sugar, and flavorings. With the invention of the Hamilton Beach blender, milkshakes began to take on their whipped, aerated, and frothy form.

In the 1950s, milkshakes were called “frappes,” “velvets,” or “frosted [drinks]” in different parts of the U.S. A specialty style of milkshake called the “concrete” was a milk shake so thick that the server handed it to the customer upside down, demonstrating that not a drop would drip!

In 2006, sales of milkshakes and similar iced drinks rose 11 percent in the United States. Part of the increase in milkshake sales reported may be due to the increasing availability of gourmet chef-designed milkshakes in high-end restaurants. Chefs began using things like liquor-soaked farmers market strawberries, high-end chocolate and Madagascar Bourbon vanilla to make new milkshake flavors.

Other novel ideas offered milkshakes made with toasted nuts, saffron, rose water or orange-blossom ice cream, vanilla beans steeped in rum and brand-name vodka.

Of course, milkshakes may be a treat you go out for, but you can also easily treat yourself at home if you own a traditional or immersion blender.

If you like fruit in your milkshakes you’ll want to try this recipe. Substitute roasted peaches or melon for the pineapple, if you prefer.

Roasted Pineapple Milkshake

For the roasted pineapple:

  • 1 golden pineapple, cored and quartered
  • Canola oil

For the shake:

  • 2 cups ice
  • 1 roasted pineapple
  • 1 cup pineapple juice
  • 1/2 pint lemon or mango sorbet
  • 1/2 pint vanilla ice cream
  • Club soda or seltzer, to taste

For the Roasted Pineapple:

Slice pineapple and cut in large chunks. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Brush pineapple with oil and roast 20-30 minutes, turning to expose all sides, until golden brown.

For the Shake:

Put ice in the blender. Add the cooled roasted pineapple, the pineapple juice, sorbet and ice cream. Pulse until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Pour into 4 large glasses. Top each glass with a splash of soda. Serve.

Low-Fat Blueberry Shake

All milkshakes don’t have to be calorie-laden indulgences. Try frozen low-fat yogurt.

  • 2 1/2 cups frozen blueberries
  • 1 1/4 cups apple juice
  • 1 cup vanilla frozen yogurt
  • 1/4 cup skim milk

Put everything in the blender and blend until smooth. Serves 2.

Triple Chocolate Marshmallow Milkshake

This recipe is a bit more involved but is worth the effort!

  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup marshmallow fluff
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • ½ cup chocolate syrup
  • 3 cups chocolate ice cream
  • Shaved chocolate for garnish

Whisk 1/2 cup heavy cream, very cold marshmallow fluff and vanilla until stiff peaks form; set aside. Combine whole milk and cup chocolate syrup in a blender. Add 3 cups chocolate ice cream; blend until smooth. Fill 4 glasses one-quarter of the way with the shake; add some marshmallow mixture, then more milkshake, then cream, then milkshake. Finish with a dollop of marshmallow cream and garnish with shaved chocolate.

Klik Candy Milkshake

This recipe is a favorite among adults and children alike.

  • 1 cup Klik chocolate milk balls
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 3 cups vanilla ice cream

Place all ingredients in a blender or shake maker. Cover; blend until consistency of thick milk shake, with bits of candy throughout. Pour into 2 large glasses. Serve immediately.

Many ingredients are prone to infestation. Please consult a local Rav for specific guidelines on how to avoid transgressions related to insects.

Readers may submit questions to the Culinary Connoisseur, c/o Hamodia, 207 Foster Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. 11230 or via e-mail to This weekly column has been brought to you by The Peppermill, the world’s first kosher kitchenware store, located at 5015 16th Avenue, Brooklyn, N.Y. (718) 871-4022. You can also read a selection of previous columns in their comprehensive cookbook, The Culinary Connoisseur, available now at your local Judaica and kitchenware stores. Jam-packed with delicious recipes, insightful food information and helpful cooking tips, this book is certain to become your constant companion in the kitchen.