The Ingredients In The First Milkshakes Might Surprise You

When we think "the origin story of milkshakes," our minds go to the time that Rizzo throws a strawberry one in Kenickie's face in Grease or when John Travolta downs a five-dollar shake in Pulp Fiction. We dream of ice cream mixed with milk, drizzled with Hershey's chocolate syrup, topped with whipped cream and maybe a slice of strawberry; the type of thick, sweet, cold concoctions that you can still order in diners if you're lucky. 

Milkshakes, in their essence, are the type of drink that you order on a PG-13, back-by-eight first date, and then go roller skating afterward. They're the type of beverage that Buzzfeed makes a quiz out of (in this case, Which Celebrity Are You Going To Marry Based On The Milkshake you Make. Yes, we got Ryan Gosling, unfortunately for you, Blake Lively).

Suffice to say, when we think "the origin story of milkshakes" we don't imagine that it's going to be rated R. Do you?

The first milkshakes were boozy

You can thank Cold Stone Creamery for ruining your childhood. According to the ice cream company, back in the 1800s milkshakes were essentially eggnogs mixed with whisky. Not that we don't like eggnog. Because, nothing says Christmas is coming like indulging in a mug of the rich, custardy, cinnamon and clove-infused drink. But to quote the great American literary genius, John Steinbeck, "If a man ordered a beer milkshake, he'd better do it in town where he wasn't known" (via GoodReads). Ergo, alcohol has no place in the great American shake. Milkshakes with alcohol, for the record, are called Mudslides, which are a different beast entirely.

Thank God, by 1886, someone in Atlanta, Georgia had set things straight. Then, an Atlanta Constitution newspaper article unearthed by Art of Drink documents the birth of a new soda fountain beverage dubbed the "milk shake." The Georgian newspaper described the novelty as follows: "the mixer of cooling beverages pours out a glass of sweet milk, puts in a big spoonful of crushed ice, puts in a mixture of unknown ingredients, draws a bit of any desired sirup, shakes the milk in a tin can like a barkeep mixes lemonade, sprinkles a little nutmeg on the foaming milk until it looks something like a Tom and Jerry, sits it out for you and you pay five cents." Cheers!