National Vanilla Milkshake Day – June 20, 2020

Sat Jun 20

National Vanilla Milkshake Day is on June 20 and it’s all about celebrating the original vanilla milkshake. It’s made by blending milk, ice cream, and the vanilla flavoring for a classic style beverage. Vanilla is actually native to central Mexico and it’s the only fruit-bearing member of the orchid family. The first people that used the fruit of the Tlilxochitl vine were the ancient Totonac Indians of Mexico, but after the Aztecs defeated them, they no longer had sole ownership of the fruit.

History of National Vanilla Milkshake Day

In the beginning, the milkshake was considered an adult drink. The beverage had first appeared in print in 1885 and contained eggs and whiskey. It was described as a sturdy and healthy egg nog drink, that was served as a tonic and a drink. For as harmless as they seem now, the original milkshake wasn’t so kid-friendly. All of the fun flavorings wouldn’t come until later.

In the early 1900s, different flavors of ice cream were used in milkshakes. Vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry syrups were the first ones and they were an immediate hit. At that time, the electric blender hadn’t been invented yet, and milkshakes were shaken by hand. The drink mixer wasn’t created until 1911 and when it was, milkshakes started appearing at soda fountains which increased its accessibility.

The electric blender was created in 1922 by Stephen Poplawski, the owner of Stevens Electric company for the purpose of mixing beverages like malts and milkshakes. This handy invention took the milkshake from the soda fountain to the home and more restaurants would add milkshakes to their menus. In 1949, Dairy Queen added milkshakes to their menu and many other restaurants followed their lead. 

Today, the milkshake is still going strong. While the local soda/malt shop has become a vintage novelty, people can still order this classic treat at many restaurants and ice cream parlors. While many flavors have been created since the early days of the milkshake, the vanilla milkshake still holds strong as a classic reminder of days’ past.

National Vanilla Milkshake Day timeline

21st Century
Keep it classic

The vanilla milkshake is still well-loved today as a traditional favorite beverage that people of all ages can enjoy.

1949
Queen of Dairy

The restaurant chain Dairy Queen adds milkshakes to their menus and more restaurants do the same.

1911
Soda’s Neighbor

The electric blender was created by Stephen Poplawski, and the invention appeared next to soda machines.

1885
Adult Milkshakes

The first milkshake is made for adults containing eggs and whiskey.

National Vanilla Milkshake Day FAQs

Is there caffeine in a vanilla milkshake?

In most cases, vanilla milkshakes wouldn’t contain caffeine. Vanilla ice cream is normally made from cream and sugar, with flavoring. Milkshakes normally contain ice cream and milk. A chocolate or coffee milkshake would contain caffeine, though in very small amounts, but a vanilla milkshake normally wouldn’t.

Who has the best vanilla milkshakes?

A taste test study decided that Chick-fil-A and Burger King were the top two contenders. These shakes tasted the most homemade, and had the most authentic vanilla flavor out of all five of the drinks.

Do McDonald’s use real ice cream in their shakes?

The thick, ice-cream based drinks served at McDonald’s are simply known as “shakes,” but the fast-food giant didn’t drop the word “milk” because the product is dairy-free. “Our shakes contain milk from our reduced-fat, soft serve, which makes them thick and creamy,” a McDonald’s rep told Business Insider.

How To Celebrate National Vanilla Milkshake Day

  1. Have a vanilla milkshake

    Go to your favorite restaurant or ice cream shop that sells milkshakes and order yourself a classic vanilla milkshake. If it’s been a while since you had one, even better! We all have our favorite flavors, but sometimes it’s good to go traditional.

  2. Make a milkshake

    The good thing about making milkshakes is that they’re not hard to make. Use 2 cups vanilla ice cream, 1 cup whole milk sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract, mix them in a blender, and you’ve got yourself a milkshake. If you want to change up the flavor, there's french vanilla, Tonga vanilla, and vanilla bean to try. Vanilla doesn’t have to be plain.

  3. Milkshake party

    Invite your friends over for a milkshake-themed party. Make the milkshakes yourself and require everyone to wear clothes inspired by the 1950s when the milkshake was taking over the nation. With all the poodle skirts and leather jackets, you’ll feel like you’ve been transported to a malt shop.

5 Fun Facts About National Vanilla Milkshake Day

  1. Straw man

    Joseph Friedman invented and patented the straw in 1937 after noticing how difficult it was to drink a milkshake directly from the glass.

  2. Hipster milkshakes

    In 2006 there was a resurgence of the milkshake as hipster culture in Los Angeles indulged in them at a farmer’s market and sales for traditional milkshakes around the nation increased.

  3. Thickshakes

    In the United Kingdom, milkshakes are called "thickshakes.”

  4. TV classic

    In the show “Riverdale”, Pop's Chock'lit Shoppe is a classic diner that serves milkshakes and it's a real place you can go.

  5. Bloody milkshake

    In the drama movie "There Will Be Blood" the most quoted line was, "I drink your milkshake!"

Why We Love National Vanilla Milkshake Day

  1. The taste of Americana

    There’s something quite classic about milkshakes, as they remind us of an earlier time. Since they were invented in the United States, they’re very much connected to a nostalgic era of the nation before the modern world took over.

  2. It’s simple

    The vanilla milkshake doesn’t seem flashy, and that’s kind of the point. Not all things need to be obviously exciting in order for you to appreciate them. Vanilla milkshakes allow us to appreciate the simplicity and reminds us of where it all started.

  3. It’s a delicious treat

    Milkshakes probably aren’t on most people’s daily diet, which makes milkshakes the perfect treat. They lean on the unhealthier side when it comes to nutritional value, but they’re so delicious that they’re great for special occasions like National Vanilla Milkshake Day.

National Vanilla Milkshake Day dates

YearDateDay
2020June 20Saturday
2021June 20Sunday
2022June 20Monday
2023June 20Tuesday
2024June 20Thursday

Let’s get social

Here are some special hashtags for the day.

#vanilla #milkshake #icecream