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On a hot, sweaty day, it’s absolutely impossible to go wrong with a creamy milkshake to get cooled down and sugared up.

One of the world’s most indulgent beverages, the humble milkshake can be found in hundreds of iterations – and today, it’s the sweet and simple vanilla milkshake that is getting all of the attention.

Whether people like their milkshakes creamy or smooth, with whipped cream or mixed up with a pile of candy, with fruit or just as a plain Jane shake, this day offers the perfect excuse to have a sip or two of this delicious dairy drink!

It’s time to celebrate National Vanilla Milkshake Day!

History of National Vanilla Milkshake Day

Vanilla has been a flavoring of choice for sweet treats for hundreds of years. And it has been one of the standard go-to flavors for many ice cream and dairy manufacturers, so it’s no wonder someone thought to pop it in a milkshake for a classic flavor.

The milkshake itself has quite a history – contrary to what most people expect, the milkshake started out as an alcoholic, whiskey-based drink, not unlike eggnog. In fact, it was even touted as a ‘restorative tonic’, good for the health, in 1885.

By the early 1900s, a milkshake would come to mean a drink that was made with chocolate or fruit syrups, and soon enough ice cream was commonly asked to be added to the mix.

In the 1930s, milkshakes would become a very popular drink at so-called ‘malt shops’, which were frequently used by students of the era as a meeting point to hang out with their friends.

The milkshake would naturally morph into the light and frothy kind everyone knows today, thanks to the invention of the blender. This important small kitchen appliance allowed for a smooth milkshake where previously they could only be hand-shaken.

In the 1950s, the milkshake establishments had become a mainstay of American culture. Staff at the soda fountains would have nicknames for flavors of milkshake – the nickname for a vanilla milkshake was a ‘white cow’.

National Vanilla Milkshake Day is the perfect day to celebrate this classic, iconic and cool drink that is somewhere between a beverage and a dessert!

How to Celebrate National Vanilla Milkshake Day

National Vanilla Milkshake Day is a fun day to grab a milkshake with friends and enjoy. Try out these ideas for celebrating National Vanilla Milkshake Day:

Make a Vanilla Milkshake 

For a delicious treat in hot weather, grab the blender and try a hand at whipping up a vanilla milkshake in celebration of the day. Choose to add ice cream for a super-rich texture, or use vanilla powder whisked in with the milk to keep things smooth. For an alternative that’s more like a smoothie, add crushed ice when blending it, to keep things cool.

For extra fun, jazz up that shake with a topping of light whipped cream, and go full 1950s diner-style by popping a single red cherry on the top!

Order a Vanilla Milkshake at a Restaurant

For those who don’t have a blender, or who simply don’t feel up to making their own vanilla milkshake, there’s always the option of grabbing one at a restaurant to enjoy sitting down or to take away. Some restaurants, such as certain locations of Chick-Fil-A, have been known to celebrate the day by offering a Buy One Get One Free deal on certain milkshakes in honor of Vanilla Milkshake day.

Other restaurant chains that serve delicious vanilla milkshakes all over the world include:

  • Steak N Shake. Hand-dipped vanilla milkshakes are served in more than 600 restaurants in the United States, France, Spain, Italy, Portugal, Saudi Arabia, and Qatar. At most US locations, any flavor milkshake can be purchased for half price on most weekdays between certain hours in the afternoon or in the middle of the night. (While there, go ahead and order a serving of their delicious skinny fries–they go great dipped into a vanilla shake.)
  • Shake Shack. With more than 250 locations all over the globe, Shake Shack just seems like the right place to go for a delicious vanilla milkshake. This fast-casual diner has been growing quickly in the last two decades, with locations in Bahrain, China, Mexico, Kuwait, Turkey, Singapore, the United Kingdom, and many more.
  • Sonic. Classic vanilla milkshakes at this drive-up or drive-thru establishment come quickly to the car. They come from a shake machine (not hand-dipped), and are probably not the highest quality shake ever served. But they’re quick, inexpensive, tasty, and convenient. Restaurants are located in 44 of the 50 United States and many of them offer half-price shakes at certain hours of the evening.

Try a Vegan Vanilla Milkshake

Whether it’s for a person who is lactose intolerant and sensitive to dairy, or simply because it’s a healthier lifestyle choice, Vanilla Milkshakes don’t have to be made from dairy ingredients. Even people who aren’t fans of cow’s milk products can enjoy National Vanilla Milkshake Day! Plus, it comes with less guilt because it’s less sugary and part of a healthier diet.

This vegan vanilla milkshake can be ready in less than five minutes. Simply toss these ingredients into a blender: vegan vanilla ice cream (made from coconut milk or cashew milk), a bit of sugar or sweetener, almond milk (or another preferred plant milk), and some ice. To make it even tastier, add a portion of a vanilla bean into the mix. Run the blender and enjoy–on National Vanilla Milkshake Day or any day!

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