The late 1800’s saw life reaching the pinnacle of greatness. There was almost nothing that mankind thought they couldn’t achieve. Utopia seemed to be on the horizon. It’s easy to understand why so many felt that way – the word “milkshake” was used in print for the first time EVER in 1885.
That single word evokes feelings of joy and elation, even myopic, forget-everything-else-in-the-world, focus-on-the-person-sitting-on-the-straw-across-from-you blindness. Sharing a milkshake was an intimate yet publicly acceptable display of affection in the 1950’s & 60’s. Those days are long gone, but that doesn’t lessen our yearning for a good wholesome milk shake.
Mind you, they didn’t start out as a wholesome drink. They were originally developed as a healthy, eggnog type drink with whiskey and eggs blended in. It was primarily served as a tonic that could be enjoyed as a treat. Imagine that, milkshakes were originally billed as “healthy”. Of course they were, they had whiskey in them! An eggnog milkshake with whiskey is sure to improve your mental health – if you don’t believe us, just try one and see if you don’t feel better for the experience!
In just a few short years, however, the whiskey version was replaced with a more “family friendly” version that was made with chocolate, strawberry or vanilla syrups. By the early 1900’s, patron’s even frequently requested that ice cream be included.
By the 1930’s milkshakes were popular at the local “soda fountain”. Malt shops were born, and the “Happy Day’s” era was in full swing 20 years later!
It’s said that even today, milkshakes remind us of summer, youth – and indulgence. They are evocative of a time gone by. If you think that’s not true, take notice of all the cars at the Sonic Drive-In. Their “shakes” are one of their best sellers and about 25% of that milkshake is air. What other drink would you order and gladly pay for all that air?
But, it isn’t just Sonic anymore. Chef inspired milkshakes (like this one by local chef Gwen Ashley Walters) are becoming all the rage. Using simple, natural ingredients like strawberries or peaches from the local farmers market or even premium herbs and spices has resulted in a resurgence of the milkshake and a host of new flavors.
With that in mind, and in honor of National Dairy Month (National Vanilla Milkshake Day is June 20), we thought we’d add our own version. It’s part classic, part twist (you wouldn’t have found this on the list of soda fountain milkshake options – and we’re pretty sure Arnold wouldn’t have served Richie or Joni one of these at his joint). The best part is that you can make this one at home without any of those chemical-y syrups (and it’s far better than the Jack in the Box version)!
You will need a couple of our unique blends for the two versions we present below. You can order them here and here. And, just so you know, we’ve spent the last week tweaking and taste testing this recipe – it’s just one of the little sacrifices we make on your behalf – to make certain that this shake would bring a smile to your face. It won’t evoke memories of days gone by, but it will remind you of summer and make you so giddy you’ll feel like you are 16 again!
- ½ cup half & half
- 2 cups Sweet Republic Vanilla Ice Cream (yes, it’s the whole pint – enjoy it!)
- 2 strips bacon
- 1 tsp. “FACON”
- Cut bacon strips into smaller pieces ½” wide. Cook bacon, fully rendering to produce nice crispy bacon. Remove bacon from pan, blot ALL bacon grease off and allow to sit on paper towel and drain.
- Place half & half and FACON in blender. Crumble bacon pieces into blender. Blend all together until bacon is in VERY small, little bits (small enough to easily pass through a straw).
- Add ice cream. Blend until fully thick and creamy.
- Pour into your favorite milkshake glass (if you don’t have one yet, you might want to find one – this won’t be the last time you make this shake) and serve with a straw.