A great milkshake starts with great ingredients, says Mike Karandzieff, co-owner of Crown Candy Kitchen in St. Louis, which has been making ice cream and serving fountain treats since 1913.
“You need great ice cream and the very best of other ingredients,” Karandzieff says. “And you just can’t whip it up. You have to know how to blend ’em just right.”
Crown Candy uses professional equipment, but home cooks can make fine milkshakes with an ordinary blender. The trick, according to Adam Ried, author of the new book “Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes” (W.W. Norton & Co., $24.95), is to pulse together the ingredients a few times, then use a flexible spatula to mash the mixture onto the blender blades. Start pulsing again, stopping the blender to use the spatula as needed, until the milkshake is smooth and well-blended.
Mary Laberda works behind the old-fashioned soda fountain at Jennifer’s Pharmacy, 30 North Central Ave. in Clayton, Mo. She says finding the right proportion of ingredients is key. “It’s the perfect amount of ice cream and milk, thick enough to eat and to almost suck through a straw,” she says. “It’s topped with homemade whipped cream and a cherry — and a dose of sarcasm, with love, from the soda jerkettes.”
Bethany Budde, owner of Soda Fountain Square in St. Louis also cites some intangible ingredients. “It’s all about who makes them and the love that they put into them. It has to be a young person, or at least someone who’s young at heart,” she says.
And Joy Grdnic, who owns The Fountain on Locust, in midtown St. Louis, pays attention to detail when whipping up old-fashioned milkshakes and malts. “A big thing is the quality of the ice cream, but little things are also important, like having fresh whipped cream. We also avoid high-fructose corn syrup in our ingredients.”
Her restaurant has built a name for itself in part through its ice cream martinis. “In other words, adult milkshakes,” Grdnic says.
Ried traces the origin of the milkshake to 1885. Those early treats had something in common with Grdnic’s ice cream martinis. “Considered both a restorative tonic and a treat, at that point milkshakes usually contained milk, ice, sugar, and, by all indications, an egg and a shot of whiskey, and they were all shaken by hand.”
In 1922, Ivar “Pop” Coulson invented the ice-cream-based milkshake at a Walgreens in Chicago, Ried writes. A nationwide craze ensued.
Grdnic shared recipes for alcoholic and nonalcoholic milkshakes.
We’ve also included recipes from Ried’s book for a basic, ultra-rich milkshake and a Colombian cholado, a nontraditional milkshake loaded with fruit. For some slightly lower-fat alternatives, try Fruit Meethi Lassi, a sweet yogurt shake, or a Spiced Banana Shake.
Spiced Banana Thick Shake
2 small bananas, peeled
1 1/2 cups ice cubes
3 scoops vanilla frozen yogurt or low-fat vanilla ice cream, softened
1/2 cup pineapple juice or apple juice
1 tablespoon honey
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients in a blender.
Blend until mixture is smooth, about 30 seconds. If necessary, pulse a few times until the mixture blends easily.
Yield: 2 servings
Per serving: 370 cal (17 percent from fat), 7g g total fat, (4.5 g saturated), 23 mg chol, 71 g carbo, 6 g pro, 75 mg sodium, 3 g dietary fiber
Adapted from “The Ultimate Ice Cream Book,” by Bruce Weinstein (William Morrow and Co., 1999).
Fruit Lassi Meethi
2 cups whole-milk yogurt
1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom or to taste
2 tablespoons granulated sugar or to taste
1 pinch salt
1 cup ice cubes or 3/4 cups crushed ice
1 cup coarsely chopped peeled mango, peach or other fruit
1 cup cold water, optional
Combine all ingredients in a blender. (Omit the water for a thicker shake; add it for a thinner shake.)
Blend until smooth and serve.
Yield: 4 servings
Per serving: 127 cal (28 percent from fat), 4 g total fat, (2.5 g saturated), 16 mg chol, 19 g carbo, 4 g pro, 97 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber
Adapted from “The Best Recipes in the World,” by Mark Bittman (Broadway Books, 2005).
(From The Fountain, St. Louis)
3 scoops strawberry ice cream
3/4 cup 2 percent milk
1 tablespoon strawberry syrup
Whipped cream, for optional garnish
Candied orange rind, for optional garnish
In a regular or milkshake blender, combine ice cream and milk; blend until just smooth.
Pour the strawberry syrup into the bottom of a milkshake glass. Slowly pour the shake into the glass (several ounces will be left over; use that to top off the original glass after some has been consumed). Garnish with whipped cream and orange rind, if desired.
Yield: 1 large serving
Per serving: 537 cal (41 percent from fat), 24.5 g total fat, (14.5 g saturated), 75 mg chol, 67 g carbo, 12 g pro, 155 mg sodium, 0 g dietary fiber
Love Potion No. 10
1 scoop coconut ice cream (see note)
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) rum
1/2 ounce banana liqueur
Round slice of banana, for garnish
Blend ice cream, rum and banana liqueur until just smooth.
Pour into a martini glass; garnish with banana slice.
Note: If you can’t find coconut ice cream, use vanilla ice cream plus 1 tablespoon coconut milk.
Yield: 1 serving
Per serving: 277 cal (32 percent from fat), 10 g total fat, (7 g saturated), 29 mg chol, 21.5 g carbo, 2.5 g pro, 55 mg sodium, 0.5 g dietary fiber
Chocolate-Covered Cherry Martini
1 scoop vanilla ice cream
1 tablespoon cherry syrup
1 ounce (2 tablespoons) cherry or regular vodka
1/2 ounce creme de cacao
Chocolate syrup, for garnish
2 cherries, for garnish
Blend the ice cream, cherry syrup, vodka and creme de cacao until just smooth.
Using a squeeze bottle, garnish the sides of a martini glass with several lines of chocolate syrup. Pour the martini into the glass, garnish with cherries and serve.
Yield: 1 serving
Per serving: 385 cal (18 percent from fat), 7.5 g total fat, (4.5 g saturated), 29 mg chol, 40.5 g carbo, 7.5 g pro, 57 mg sodium, 0.5 g dietary fiber
3 cups shaved or crushed ice
6 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate, thawed partially, divided
1/2 cup regular or low-fat sweetened condensed milk, divided
2 cups mixed, sliced fresh fruit (bananas, strawberries, grapes, mango, melon, etc.), divided
3 tablespoons sweetened shredded coconut, divided
2 maraschino cherries, for optional garnish
2 wafer-sandwich cookies, for optional garnish
Divide the ice between two glasses. In each glass, top the ice with 3 tablespoons orange juice concentrate, 3 tablespoons sweetened condensed milk and 1 cup fruit.
Top the fruit in each glass with 1 tablespoon sweetened condensed milk and 1 1/2 tablespoons coconut. If desired, garnish with a cherry and cookie. Serve at once with a spoon, a straw and lots of napkins.
Yield: 2 servings
Per serving: 481 cal (17 percent from fat), 9 g total fat, (6 g saturated), 26 mg chol, 92 g carbo, 8 g pro, 140 mg sodium, 4g g dietary fiber
Adapted from “Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes,” by Adam Ried (W.W. Norton & Co., 2009)
Extra-Rich Ballistic Vanilla Shake
1/2 cup cold half-and-half or heavy cream
2 teaspoons vanilla
8 medium scoops French vanilla ice cream (about 1 quart), softened until just melted at the edges
Place half-and-half, vanilla and ice cream in a blender and pulse several times to begin breaking up the ice cream.
Turn off the blender and use a flexible spatula to mash the mixture down onto the blender blades. Remove the spatula and pulse the blender, stopping and mashing as needed until the mixture is well-blended, thick and moves easily in the blender jar, 30 to 90 seconds. Pour into chilled glasses and serve at once.
Variation: For a vanilla malt, place half-and-half, vanilla and 2 tablespoons malted milk powder in the blender; pulse to combine. Add ice cream and proceed as directed.
Yield: 3 servings
Per serving: 420 cal (51 percent from fat), 24 g total fat, (15 g saturated), 92 mg chol, 43.5 g carbo, 7.5 g pro, 157 mg sodium, 1 g dietary fiber
Adapted from “Thoroughly Modern Milkshakes,” by Adam Ried (W.W. Norton & Co., 2009).