There is nothing that says summer quite like a milkshake; that sweet and chill concoction that cools the body on a hot day and gives the spirit a lift. Milkshakes have a history as rich as their flavor beginning in the 1880s.
Initially, a milkshake was an alcoholic beverage made with whiskey and eggs, somewhat like egg nog. But, by the early 1900s it was being made with malted milk, ice cream, and chocolate, vanilla or strawberry syrup.
When the Cyclone Drink Mixer was invented in 1910, suddenly the milkshake could be found everywhere, then with the creation of the blender in 1922, restaurants added them to their menu.
The straw was invented in 1937 to make milkshake drinking easier, and by the 1950s young lovers were sharing them at soda fountains and Dairy Queens all over the country.
Over time, new flavors were added into the mix, and today anything goes. Here are some local versions worth a try.
1Mint to Be Soda Select @ The Soda Bar
Located in the Fountains at Gateway, the Soda Bar offers specialty ice cream, shakes, floats, craft sodas, coffees, and Hawaiian Shave Ice. Just across the parking lot from the water park, the indoor-outdoor bar offers a convenient way to grab an old-fashioned fountain drink while enjoying the events on the central mall.
Soda Bar makes many of their shakes with cold cocoa, which is like chilled hot chocolate, instead of milk. Mint to Be Select is a blend of Mint Trax Ice Cream, Chocolate Brownie Ice Cream, cold cocoa, mint extract, whipped cream and crushed peppermint sticks with a cherry on top.
Other options include Almond Joy Luxe made with toasted coconut ice cream, cold cocoa, toasted almonds, whipped cream, almond slivers, and chocolate drizzle. Or for those who don’t like chocolate, Lemonade Fusion, which is made from vanilla ice cream and lemonade topped with whipped cream. Their complete menu can be viewed here.
2Chunky Elvis Shake @ Bad Daddy’s Burger Bar
Bad Daddy’s is most famous for their out-of-this-world burgers, but their non-burger options are just as badass. The menu features delicious appetizers, salads, sandwiches, and milkshakes made from small-batch, house-made ice cream.
Alone, or topping off a meal, one of their signature milkshakes is set apart from the rest because of their small-batch ice cream that’s made in-house. Each shake is handspun with fresh milk, then finished off with a choice of syrups, fruits, or crunchy toppings. Their signature shake is the Chunky Elvis Shake. It is made with their special ice cream, peanut butter, Ghiradelli chocolate, bananas, and walnuts. Another popular shake is the BD Snickered. It is made from vanilla ice cream blended with rich Ghirardelli® chocolate, crunchy peanuts, and caramel syrup. For more shake ideas, click here.
If you want a shake with a splash of liquor, they also make Mud Slide and Irish Cream shakes. Over the holidays they created a special one using Fireball Whiskey.
3Unicorn Milkshake @ Hattie Jane’s Creamery
Milkshake Mondays with five dollar shakes all day are a good reason to visit Hattie Jane’s Creamery on Murfreesboro’s City Square, but so is the crazy, kid-perfect Unicorn Milkshake. The super-sweet confection is made with their special unicorn vanilla ice cream, house-made whipped cream, magically delicious marshmallows, multi-colored sprinkles, a cake pop, a waffle unicorn horn, and cotton candy “mane.”
Everything about Hattie Jane’s milkshakes is over the top. They offer an assortment of toppings to compliment your choice of regular shake, or one with a dash of espresso. Toppings include brownie pieces, waffle cone crumbles, whipped cream, cookie dough, hot fudge, sprinkles, caramel, and cookies. Their complete dessert menu can be found here.
4Double Up Milkshake @ Janarty’s Homemade Ice Cream
Janarty’s is an unpretentious storefront on Front Street in Smyrna. Owners Marty Schiff and Janelle Alice had the goal of doing one thing great, not a few things well, when they opened their shop — and they make the best ice cream in the county according to their happy customers.
After Schiff retired from the road as a musician in 2013, the two of them spent four months straight pretty much eating ice cream. They even spent time traveling to renowned ice cream establishments all over the country to research what they wanted to make.
Last July they added milkshakes to the mix of baked goods and their signature small batch ice cream. Schiff suggests choosing two ice cream flavors and they will do the rest. Nothing artificial, and many ingredients from local sources, including Carpe Café’s coffee.
“We still want this to become THE place to come for ice cream,” said Schiff. “At this location. We want to keep tight control on quality. We want to be the best.”