July 15, 2015 — American

Strawberry Milkshake

  • 10 minutes
  • 1 PEOPLE
  • easy

‘if you make it at home, you can keep going back for more!’

'Irresistibly sweet yet refreshing, who doesn't like a milkshake? The best bit is...'

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Follow us on Instagram — @WhatDadCooked

What you need

Half a punnet (approx 200g) of flavoursome strawberries

1 teaspoon sugar (optional)

2 scoops of vanilla ice cream

Whole milk (about 125ml)


Dad's Recipe Tales

Strawberry, chocolate or vanilla?

After Little League baseball games or Boy Scouts, we would sometimes be chaperoned to the soda bars of the local drugstore or Woolworth’s five-and-dime. We were overwhelmed by the treats on offer: milkshakes, cherry cokes, root beer floats, hot fudge sundae’s…

The difficulty was choosing. But with a discerning adolescent palate we might turn-down a sundae for being too fancy and filling; decline a cherry Coke for being too tooth-curlingly sweet and dither over the messiness of a float. A milkshake, however, was nearly perfect – no spoons – not too rich – not too sweet – cold and refreshing. Shakes came in a trinity of flavours: strawberry, chocolate, or vanilla. You can tell much about a person’s character by the flavour of milkshake they choose. I know if I am out with my three boys they can safely order one of each flavour and satisfy each of their distinctive temperaments. One flavour variation was the malt – made by adding malted powdered-milk to the milkshake. It’s a powerfully rich and thick drink, almost impossible to suck through the straw.

Before American diners arrived on these shores the only way you could enjoy a shake was to make it at home. On hot summer days, we would clear the kitchen decks; get out the blender; raid the cupboards, fridge and freezer – and start mixing, blending, shaking and spilling…

Fast-food shakes of any description will not be the same as a classic soda bar or diner shake. Soda bars use real ice cream – not the pre-whipped streams of machined foam. These days we can reliably re-live our memories by ordering shakes from the many American diners dotted around London. They all make their shakes from real ice cream. Try the The Diner in Grafton Street Soho, Fat Boys Diner in Trinity Bouy Wharf and the Ed’s Easy Diner chain. You will get a great shake from these and other genuine diners. The Tinseltown chain with outlets in Farringdon and Bayswater seem to specialise in shakes and boast 45 different recipes. But, I’m reassured to see, shining-out at the bottom of their menu, three classic flavours: strawberry, chocolate and vanilla!

How Dad Cooked It

  1. If your strawberries are very flavoursome (not all are – taste and compare) then just wash, de-husk and put into a blender jar. If they have been bred for longevity and colour rather than taste; de-husk, slice in half and macerate in a bowl with the sugar for an hour or two.
  2. With strawberries in the blender jar, add the ice cream and the milk. Blend.
  3. The exact measurements are not essential – making a good milkshake is as much about intuition – one should have a feel for what proportion of ingredients will give the right amount of flavour and thickness to the shake. But be decisive – too much blending will remove the texture and thickness.
  4. Drink with a straw if possible. The childish prop seems to add an adolescent joy to the shake and make it taste even better.
  5. Try using peaches, or bananas, strained raspberry coulis or chocolate cocoa powder reconstituted (two tbls cocoa, two tsp sugar in two tbls very hot water) – okay, use Nesquick if you must.
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