If you’re reading this in the US in July, you probably understand why this national day would exist. It’s hot, you love ice cream, and you can use a caffeinated, sugary boost. To your rescue comes the delicious coffee milkshake, a product of sheer human culinary ingenuity. One great way to celebrate National Coffee Milkshake Day on July 26 is to have a true coffee milkshake. Not a Frappucino, though — a “real” milkshake with ice cream. That hits the spot. Plus you can flavor it the way you like your coffee. That versatility is what this lovely summer national day is about.
National Coffee Milkshake Day - Key Moments
Rhode Island's the first
The pharmacy Delekta's adds ice cream to coffee and milk to create coffee milkshakes.
American milkshakes appear
They're described as "wholesome drinks made with chocolate, strawberry, or vanilla syrups," — with ice cream added, of course.
Coffee comes to America
The Boston Tea Party protest prompts colonial American citizens to make the switch from tea to coffee as part of their patriotic duty.
Coffee tree appears in Yemen
Coffee beans are finally exported from Ethiopia and cultivated in Yemeni Sufi monasteries.
Coffee plant discovered in Ethiopia
An Abyssinian goatherd named Kaldi discovers goats eating coffee berries and brings them to local monks, who cultivate the plant and start chewing the berries for energy.
How to Celebrate National Coffee Milkshake Day
1. Make a few.
This is an easy one, of course. Just find the recipe that works for you. Milk and coffee-flavored ice cream? Or just instant hot coffee blended with chocolate? Or are you the type of connoisseur who insists on using cold-brewed coffee, top-shelf vanilla ice cream, and homemade chocolate syrup? Take your pick — but make it thick.
2. Have a recipe taste test with friends.
Taste tests are the best, especially when it uncovers the nuances of what seems like an obvious recipe — like coffee milkshakes. Get some cooking buddies together along with a few neutral tester friends, blend up your individual coffee shake masterpieces, and find out which one they like best.
3. Go get a classic "coffee cabinet" at Delekta's.
Delekta's is an old-school soda fountain and pharmacy in Warren, Rhode Island, which developed a coffee milkshake sometime before World War II. Early-20th century Italian emigration to Rhode Island boosted coffee syrup production until it matched that of dairy in the tiny state. Coffee milk eventually became the state drink, and Delekta's took it a step further by adding ice cream. The folks at Delekta don't exactly know how the drink got its name, but some would have you believe that the drink's inventor kept his blender and/or coffee syrup in a cabinet.
5 Global Coffee Milkshake Variations
1. Italian Espresso
Blend with home brewed espresso and a drop of lemon extract.
2. Vietnamese Coffee
Blend coconut ice cream, sweetened condensed milk and dark coffee ice cubes.
3. Mexican Café de Olla
Use dark-roasted coffee, cinnamon and orange extract.
4. Moroccan Coffee
Use coffee with cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, clove and nutmeg.
5. Tennessee Coffee
Add an ounce each of Irish Cream, coffee liqueur and whiskey to your shake.
Why We Love National Coffee Milkshake Day
A. They're delicious
If you like the individual ingredients — coffee, ice cream, milk and flavored syrup — it's hard to go wrong with a coffee milkshake. That's especially true if you have one during the summer day on which National Coffee Milkshake Day falls.
B. You can spice it up
Think about it. You can flavor your coffee milkshake with any of the gourmet variations you like in your regular coffee. Make it mocha or Turkish. Add cinnamon, cardamom, honey or garam masala. And of course, the adults in the room can add whatever alcoholic beverage they want.
C. Frappucinos good. Coffee milkshakes better.
Frappucinos are delicious, light, lovely milk-based things that can boost you during your lunch break. But —oh, ice cream. If July 26 falls on a day off for you, when you can use a cup of coffee but don't need to be on-your-toes alert, nothing complements java's taste like a sweet scoop of vanilla ice cream. It's the type of sensation that blows frapps off the map.