Who doesn’t love a cool, refreshing mint chocolate milkshake on a warm summer day? Malts, floats and other soda fountain classics stir up nostalgic memories for many adults. Bygone days of sitting at the soda fountain with your date or best friends enjoying a frosty beverage can be had again with recipes from the new cookbook Milkshake Bar – Shakes, Malts, Floats & Other Soda Fountain Classics by Hannah Miles. Kate Whitaker’s vibrant color photos will take you back and inspire you to make the creamy drinks.
Let’s start by defining the difference between milkshakes, malts and floats. A milkshake is typically made of milk and ice cream blended until frothy, sometimes including an extra scoop of ice cream. Malts are made with malted milk powder which contains dried milk, malted barley and wheat flour combined with ice cream or milk. Floats are a mixture of ice cream and soda, such as cola or root beer or, in the olden days, flavored syrup and carbonated water.
This cookbook may be small but it packs a variety of recipes. Of course, there are milkshakes. All use store bought ice cream but the sauces are made from scratch. The sauces would also be delicious on ice cream. Take the mint chocolate milkshake. To make the mint sauce, you use chocolate peppermints such as After Eights. (I couldn’t find After Eights when I made the recipe so I used Andes Mints with great results.) There are classic flavors like strawberry mini shakes and cookies and cream plus some that are more unusual like maple popcorn or honeycomb shakes, made with honeycomb candy. Trendy concoctions like salted caramel and hometown favorites like peanut butter can also be found. Beyond milkshakes there are also floats. One of the most interesting is the doughnut float. The raspberry ripple float sounds very retro and would certainly please a raspberry lover. The chocolate malted shake is the most popular flavor of malts.
Smoothie lovers are not left out. There are a handful of smoothie recipes, again from classic berry smoothies to a tropical banana and coconut smoothie. Most of the recipes make two servings but are easily halved for one or doubled for four.
There are so many delicious recipes and such variety it would be great fun to offer a milkshake bar for a children’s party. Pick a couple of popular flavors and serve them up. Or surprise dinner party guests with a milkshake for dessert – a nice, lighter ending to a big meal that is sure to be memorable since it’s different and unexpected. Then reminisce about what it was like hanging out in an ice cream parlor back in the day.
- 1½ oz or 50g chocolate peppermint squares (such as After Eights)
- 2 tablespoons double/heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon golden/light corn syrup
- 4 scoops mint chocolate chip ice cream
- 1½ cups or 350ml milk, chilled
- A few drops of green food coloring, optional
- Chocolate sprinkles to decorate
- 4 chocolate peppermint sticks or squares, to serve, optional
- 2 soda glasses, chilled
- A squeeze bottle or piping bag with a small round nozzle/tip
- To prepare the chocolate mint sauce, put the chocolate peppermint squares in a saucepan with the cream and syrup and simmer over a gentle heat, stirring, until the chocolate has melted and you have a smooth sauce. Set aside to cool.
- Put the chocolate mint sauce in a squeeze bottle or piping bag and drizzle pretty patterns of sauce up the inside of each glass.
- Put two scoops of the ice cream in a blender with the milk and food coloring, if using, and blitz until smooth and frothy.
- Pour into the prepared glasses, top each with a scoop of ice cream and decorate with chocolate sprinkles.
- Serve immediately with more chocolate peppermint squares or chocolate peppermint sticks, if using.
Milkshake Bar by Hannah Miles
Ryland Peters & Small, $16.95; www.rylandpeters.com
Photo credit: Photography by Kate Whitaker
Editor’s note: The author received a complimentary copy of this book for review. No other compensation was received from the publisher. Links to Milkshake Bar are affiliate links.