A plaque remaining from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem.

Above, a 1934 plaque from the Big Apple Night Club at West 135th Street and Seventh Avenue in Harlem. Discarded as trash in 2006. Now a Popeyes fast food restaurant on Google Maps.

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Entry from June 17, 2008
Milk Shake (Milkshake)

Entry in progress—B.P.

Wikipedia: Milkshake
A milkshake is a sweet, cold beverage which is made from milk, ice cream or iced milk, and sweet flavorings such as fruit syrup, vanilla extract, chocolate sauce in Canada, Australia, the United Kingdom, and the rest of the English-speaking world, excluding some regions of the United States. Milkshakes are usually served in a tall glass with a straw, and whipped cream may be added as a topping. Three popular milkshake flavors are vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry. In the UK this is banana, chocolate and strawberry.

Full-service restaurants, soda fountains, and diners usually prepare and mix the shake “by hand” from scoops of actual ice cream and milk in a blender or drink mixer using a stainless steel cup. Most fast food outlets do not use actual ice cream (one exception being Jack in the Box), but manufacture their shakes in milkshake machines which freeze and serve a premade milkshake mixture consisting of a flavoring agent and thickening agent. Throughout the United States, especially in fast food and casual dining restaurants, a milkshake may be referred to as a shake.
When the term “milkshake” was first used in print in 1885, milkshakes were an alcoholic whiskey drink that has been described as a “sturdy, healthful eggnog type of drink, with eggs, whiskey, etc., served as a tonic as well as a treat”. However, by 1900, the term referred to “wholesome drinks made with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla syrups.” By the “early 1900s people were asking for the new treat, often with ice cream.” By the 1930s, milkshakes were a popular drink at malt shops, which were the “typical soda fountain of the period… used by students as a meeting place or hangout.”

The history of the electric blender, malted milk drinks and milkshakes are interconnected. Before the widespread availability of electric blenders, milkshake-type drinks were more like egg nog, or they were a hand-shaken mixture of crushed ice and milk, sugar, and flavorings. Hamilton Beach’s drink mixers began being used at soda fountains in 1911 and the electric blender or drink mixer was invented by Steven Poplawski in 1922. With the invention of the blender, milkshakes began to take their modern, whipped, aerated, and frothy form. Malted milk drinks are made with malted milk powder, which contains dried milk, malted barley and wheat flour. Malted milk powder was invented in 1897 by William Horlick as an easily digested restorative health drink for invalids and children, and as an infant’s food.

The use of malted milk powder in milkshakes was popularized in the USA by the Chicago drugstore chain Walgreens. Walgreens’ employee Ivar “Pop” Coulson made a milkshake by adding two scoops of vanilla ice cream to the standard malted milk drink recipe (milk, chocolate syrup and malt powder). This item, under the name “Horlick’s Malted Milk,” was featured by the Walgreen drugstore chain as part of a chocolate milk shake, which itself became known as a “malted” or “malt” and became one of the most popular soda-fountain drinks.

The automation of milkshakes developed in the 1930s, after the invention of freon-cooled refrigerators provided a safe, reliable way of automatically making and dispensing ice cream. In 1936, inventor Earl Prince used the basic concept behind the freon-cooled automated ice cream machine to develop the Multimixer, a “five-spindled mixer that could produce five milkshakes at once, all automatically, and dispense them at the pull of a lever into awaiting paper cups.”

In the late 1930s, several newspaper articles show that the term “frosted” was used to refer to milkshakes made with ice cream. In 1937, the Denton Journal in Maryland stated that “For a ‘frosted’ shake, add a dash of your favorite ice cream.” In 1939, the Mansfield News in Ohio stated that “A frosted beverage, in the vernacular, is something good to which ice cream has been added. Example par excellence is frosted coffee—that hot, tasty beverage made chilly with ice and frosty with ice cream.”

(Oxford English Dictionary)
milk shake n. orig. U.S. a cold drink made of milk, a sweet flavouring, and typically ice cream, mixed together as by shaking or whisking until smooth and frothy.
1886 Atlanta Constit. 26 May 7/2 Ice cream soda and *milk shakes at Beermann’s Palace Soda Stand, corner Peachtree and Decatur streets.
1937 Daily Herald 20 Feb. 11/3 (caption) Mrs...sampling a milk shake after she had opened a milk bar in Tottenham Court-road yesterday.

21 May 1886, Macon (GA) Weekly Telegraph, pg. 7 ad:
The Verdict of the Ladies
Is that a milk-shake served at L. W. Hunt & Co.’s soda fountain is the most delicious drink ever sold in Macon.

26 May 1886, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, pg. 7, col. 2:
Ice cream soda and milk shakes at Beermann’s Palace Soda Stand, corner Peachtree and Decatur streets.

19 June 1886, Mitchell (SD) Daily Republican, pg. 4?, col. 4:
A New Drink in Atlanta.
The newest Atlanta drink is “milk shake.” You get it at the soda fountains. The mixer of cooling beverages pours out a glass of sweet milk, puts in a spoonful of crushed ice, puts in a mixture of unknown ingredients, draws a bit of any desired syrup, shakes the milk in a tin can like a bartender mixes lemonade, sprinkles a little nutmeg on the foaming milk, sets it out for you, and
you pay 4 cents.—Atlanta Constitution.

5 July 1886, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, pg.8, col. 3:
Milk shake is the drink the old beer drinkers call for.

6 July 1886, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, pg. 8, col. 3:
One of Beermann’s milk shakes before breakfast will give you an appetite.

28 July 1886, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, pg. 8, col. 3:
Beerman’s milk shake takes the cake.

29 August 1886, Atlanta (GA) Constitution, pg. 9, col. 3 (Also pg. 13, col. 1):
Beermann never advances in price.  He sells a milk shake for five cents yet. The best in the city.

20 June 1888, New York (NY) Times, pg. 1:
In every niche of the Auditorium except the entrances and along Congress-street on the south side, lemonade and “milk shake” stands tempted the thirsty, and the thirsty fell in droves.

3 September 1888, San Jose (CA) Mercury News, pg. 3:
It is Said to be Working Its Way Eastward.
No country drug shop of cross-roads store is now considered complete without a machine for making milk-shakes, says the New York Sun. The milk-shake is the craze, and city people upon their vacation come upon it everywhere. The shake is merely a glass of milk and an inch of fruit syrup. The glass that contains it is put in place in a machine that jolts and bounces it terrifically for a minute or two, mixing it into a light substance like whipped cream. It is beginning to make its appearance in this city. It comes from the West.

2 June 1957, New York (NY) Times, pg. 139:
But wherever or whatever the milk shake in the Midwest, the Easterner is duty-bound to follow the native custom and send it back to the chef if the straws do not stand up in the concoction. (For the benefit of New Yorkers venturing in directions other than Chicago, this elixir is known in Boston as a “cabinet”; in South Carolina, as a “blizzard.”

Posted by Barry Popik
New York CityFood/Drink • (0) Comments • Tuesday, June 17, 2008 • Permalink