|The old standbys|
The first recorded mention of the term milk shake -- in print, anyway -- was in 1885. The phrase described an alcoholic tonic that contained eggs and whiskey. Two decades later, soda fountains were experimenting with different kinds of cold beverages that utilized ice cream and flavored syrups. One reference to the "milk shake" in 1900 called it a "wholesome drink" made with chocolate, vanilla or strawberry syrups. Those three flavors would remain the top-selling shake flavors for the rest of the century. These days, however, customers are becoming much more daring with their choices of favorite milkshake flavors.
(5) Steak 'n Shake -- The milk shake has been the signature beverage at Steak 'n Shake restaurants since the burger chain was founded in 1934. For decades, the shake selections were limited to chocolate, strawberry and vanilla, but the Indianapolis-based chain has been experimenting with more creative flavors for a while now, including this summer's limited-time peach milkshake and the horrible-sounding Kool-Aid shakes.
|Chai Shai's mango shake|
(3) Poppy's Ice Cream and Coffee House -- Teresa Poppinga, the proprietor and ice cream maker at this Lee's Summit ice cream shop, has a truly cool shake that's becoming popular, with house-made lemon cookie ice cream. But the real summer seller is much more simple: "I blend together a fresh banana with vanilla ice cream," Poppinga says. "People love it."
(2) Harold's Drive-In -- This iconic breakfast-and-burger shack on the city's East Side makes a terrific peanut butter milkshake.
(1) Murray's Ice Cream & Cookies -- Murray Nixon, the owner of this Westport institution, says she can make a sensational shake out of any of the shop's unusual flavors, but this season's sexiest shake is the "French Silk Fantasy," made with chocolate mousse ice cream. "It's about as rich as you can get," Nixon says.