5@5 - Blend your way to milkshake perfection
April 3rd, 2013
05:00 PM ET
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5@5 is a food-related list from chefs, writers, political pundits, musicians, actors, and all manner of opinionated people from around the globe.

Since the Harlem Shake has jumped the shark, let’s get back to a shake that really matters - we're talking about the good ol’ fashioned milkshake.

Mark Robert Turner is here to make the transition a smooth one. Turner is the Operations Manager - and resident milkshake magician - of Bareburger, a micro-chain of organic burger restaurants.

If you don’t own a blender, you can use an immersion or stick blender, which works just as effectively. If you don’t have either one of those, grab a stainless steel bowl and a whisk; you should never deny yourself a milkshake because you don’t have the right equipment.

Five Tips To Make a Marvelous Milkshake: Mark Robert Turner

After you put your milkshake glass in the freezer to get a nice chill on it...

1. Use quality ingredients, including ice cream (of course!)
As easy as it can be to buy that unbranded white box of ice cream for 99 cents, don't do it unless you have no other options.

The better the ice cream, the better your shake will be. Even vanilla ice cream is flavored differently based on the brand. Ultimately, you want to choose something that is made with natural, whole ingredients ... or make your own!

Freshness is also key; nothing tastes better in a strawberry shake than fresh strawberries. If you are making a coffee or mocha shake, add a dash or two of freshly brewed espresso. Chocolate shakes can use everything from dark chocolate syrup to chocolate chunks for a change in consistency. Even if you're having a plain vanilla shake, you can make it better by scraping out the seeds of a vanilla bean or adding a dash of vanilla extract or paste to the shake.

2. Go gentle on the milk
When you are making a shake, you will want it to be, at the very least, somewhat thick. If you add in too much milk, you can add more ice cream to thicken things up, but this means you'll end up with too much yield.

To combat this milkshake overload, add only a little milk to start. You can always add more milk if you find that it's too thick during the blending process. As you add milk in small increments, you have a better chance of reaching the desired thickness.

A good rule of thumb: Take three hearty scoops of your favorite ice cream, add two ounces of milk and any flavorings you want (chocolate syrup, candy or cookie pieces). Do not add ice as it will just water it down.

3. Vanilla isn't mandatory
If you're making a shake, you do not always have to use vanilla ice cream. While vanilla is normally perceived to be the base for all good milkshakes, you should try to keep your options open. If you're making a chocolate or strawberry milkshake, use ice cream that corresponds with your shake flavor for an added pick-me-up.

There are hundreds of flavors of ice cream and each one has the opportunity to make a delicious shake. Give one a try and break out from the norm. If you prefer vanilla, you can always go back.

4. Sweet, sweet innovation
If you happen to have some extra pie, cheesecake, cookies or other sweets lying around, mix things up by turning them into a shake. These thick shakes taste phenomenal and introduce new flavors to an old favorite.

5. Use bigger straws
If you follow the previous tip, you will want to pick up some thicker straws. This will ensure that no pie pieces or chunks that didn't completely blend will get stuck in your straw.

Peanut Butter-Chocolate Shake
Makes one 16-oz milkshake

2/3 cup milk
4 generous scoops chocolate ice cream (approximately 2 cups)
4 tablespoons peanut butter

Using a blender, blend all the ingredients together until it reaches the desired consistency.

Banana Shake
Makes one 16-oz milkshake

2/3 cup milk
4 generous scoops vanilla ice cream (approximately 2 cups)
1/2 banana, sliced

Using a blender, blend all the ingredients together until it reaches the desired consistency.

*If you want to make a grown-up milkshake, skip the milk and add your liquor or liqueur of choice.

How do you like to shake things up? Share your favorite milkshake creation in the comments below.

Is there someone you'd like to see in the hot seat? Let us know in the comments below and if we agree, we'll do our best to chase 'em down.

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Filed under: 5@5 • Ice Cream • Make • Recipes • Sweet • Think

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soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. ninja blender vs vitamix

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    August 14, 2013 at 3:00 am |
  2. PWA

    Add a shot (or several) of Kahlua to a chocolate shake for instant, liquid heaven..

    April 4, 2013 at 1:08 pm |
  3. Janella

    Making a milkshake with hot fudge is to die for.

    April 4, 2013 at 10:48 am |
  4. tb63

    "Milkshakes should be banned, they make people fat."

    Jeez! What ever happened to all the fun in the world?

    April 4, 2013 at 10:22 am |
  5. The Internet

    Yes, but will it bring the boys to my yard?

    April 4, 2013 at 10:00 am |

      No but it will make them a yard in diameter.

      April 4, 2013 at 10:36 am |
    • M.E.

      Damn right. I could teach you, but I'd have to charge, so just go with the directions provided.

      April 4, 2013 at 10:42 am |
  6. Mark in Montana

    Reading the comments tells me that I should;\

    1. Replace the ice cream with something healthier as ice cream will kill you....
    2. Replace the milk with a non-dairy as it is also bad for you....
    3. Sounds like I cannot use a raw egg since, well, that is bad for you too....
    4. Most of the flavorings are also either non-organic, bad for the environment or the poor have been exploited....
    5. Cannot use liquor as that is 'bad' for you as well...

    So, I guess I can use ice, water and....dirt. I called that mud growing up.

    April 4, 2013 at 9:50 am |
    • Knuckles Nuclear

      Dirt is full of pesticides and evil fertilizers so its also bad for you! :-)

      April 4, 2013 at 10:19 am |
    • greatgod blendar

      water is bad for you too unless you drink it in moderation. Drink too much and you die, and that is no lie.

      April 4, 2013 at 3:59 pm |
  7. Larry

    "…too much yield"? How can you have "too much yield" in a milkshake? Oh drat, I added too much milk. Better add some more ice cream. Ooops. Too much. Probably need to add a little more milk. Now the flavor is wrong. Needs more chocolate. Woops, too much. Better add some milk and a tad more ice cream.

    April 4, 2013 at 9:50 am |
  8. johnathanness

    Try adding a little Bailey's to a chocolate or banana chocolate shake. A nice flavor change and a great way to get a little buzzed.

    April 4, 2013 at 9:40 am |
  9. guest

    Man....those lips.....

    April 4, 2013 at 9:33 am |
  10. kali

    dairy is not good for you, especially if you're at risk for cholesterol, heart disease, etc... it's not good for the digestive system, it's not good for anyone with any kind of respiratory problems... (plus - unless it's organic - it contains hormones added by the industry..)

    have a fruit juice instead.....:-)

    April 4, 2013 at 9:11 am |
    • Joe

      Save the preaching and have a milkshake once in a while. Life is short.

      April 4, 2013 at 9:21 am |
    • rob

      yeah, dont drink a shake, have a nice big glass of coke with a nice 20 oz steak and a loaded baked potatoe!!!!!!!!..............geeeeeeeezzzzzeessss!!

      April 4, 2013 at 9:30 am |
    • Steven CaboWabo

      Anything is not good for you in some quantities.
      Fruit Juice is not a substitute for dairy because they have different nutrients in them. It's not bad just not the same.
      Also if you really want to be healthy have whole fruit instead of fruit juice so you get more fiber.

      April 4, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • greatgod blendar

      fruit juice is high in Fructose. You know, its that "bad sugar".

      April 4, 2013 at 4:00 pm |
  11. Shakemeister

    Long ago I started using Club Soda instead of milk. Of course plenty of Ice Cream and Chocolate Syrup. Kids love it. My son says his firends call it the best shake ever. The carbonation makes for a smoooooth shake. Make sure you give it plenty of time in the blender.

    April 4, 2013 at 9:04 am |
  12. Steve

    Definitely not something you want to drink regularly, packed with fat, saturated fat and sugar. I agree that you can still make an awesome shake with lowfat frozen yogurt and lowfat milk and the right flavorings, including frozen fruit.

    April 4, 2013 at 9:00 am |
  13. oh yeah


    April 4, 2013 at 8:06 am |
  14. drumrjoe

    I use breyer's vanilla fudge twirl, (quality ice cream!) a little mile and the secret ingredient is carnation instant breakfast!
    My mom used to throw in an egg for protein too, never did get salmonella! This was my main meal when my braces were tightened and it hurt too much to chew

    April 4, 2013 at 7:40 am |
    • sammyD

      The dirrarrhea probably helped with fight salmonella

      April 4, 2013 at 9:51 am |
    • iced

      bryers is totally not quality ice cream, its regular icecream, at the grocery store quality ice cream is ben and jerrys

      April 4, 2013 at 7:02 pm |
  15. Sam I. Am

    Warning: This article & recipe may not be legal in New York City and other parts of the USA, especially if mixed in quantities over 16 ounces. Use with reader discretion.

    April 4, 2013 at 4:00 am |
  16. Raymond

    I am a bit surprised, This person is suppose to be a milkshake magician? Im sorry but I grew up in the Ice Cream Business traveling in the carnival my whole life and some really key elements were not even mentioned! 1. A key to a really good milkshake is keeping the milk just above freezing! This produces a really nice thick shake and won't melt to quickly! 2. A classic milk shake has to have MALT! one of my all time favorite flavors. You can do with out it, but it should at least be mentioned, as it is a classic! 3. Most people don't do this anymore due to health concerns but a raw egg put into a milkshake will hands down make the most creamy and fluffy milkshake you have ever experienced. Add a dash of pure vanilla bean extract and your good to go..Take my word for it, I have worked in this business for almost 30 years. These extra steps will make a big difference...

    April 4, 2013 at 3:34 am |
    • Campstove Jack

      This article reminded me of our old blender that could sub a wide mouth mason jar for the pitcher. Pint Mason jars were the perfect shake size. After reading your two cents, I'm going to have to try your tips because they all sound too good to just just take your word. Thanks for the tips.

      April 4, 2013 at 4:56 am |
    • oldbopper

      We always referred to a shake with malt as a malt or malted milk shake. A true milk shake doesn't have malt.

      April 4, 2013 at 9:09 am |
  17. EuphoriCrest

    Absolutely worst milkshake ever: Durian flavor. Available at some Thai restaurants. You really have to order it to find out just how bad it is.

    April 4, 2013 at 2:10 am |
  18. cali girl

    Dairy Queen. Right thickness, pull thru the straw is tough which means it won't get runny in a few minutes.
    Rc, Fentons does it right too. When I go to Sac, it has to be Leatherbys.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:59 pm |
  19. Andrew Zielsdorf

    I'm glad to see that one of the ingredients in a proper milkshake is milk. A major hamburger and milkshake fast food chain based in Wisconsin does not know how to make a proper shake. Nine times out of ten, I have to ask the counter people to remake the shake properly. I watch them pack ice cream into the cup, add a little flavor syrup, and mix it up. Instead of a straws, they give customers spoons. If I wanted an ice cream sundae, I would have ordered one. After poining out to the kid at the counter that he forgot to put milk in my milkshake, he got a surprised look on his face and asked, "You wanted milk in that?" I said that's what a milkshake is: ice cream, milk, and flavoring syrup. Everything has been dumed down in the United States.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:39 pm |
    • petey26

      "9 time out of 10" you have to ask them to remake it?!? Perhaps it's time to stop ordering it. Perhaps that's how they make it. Perhaps you should order something else, or go somewhere else.

      April 4, 2013 at 1:31 am |
    • EuphoriCrest

      Apparently, even spelling has been "dumed" down.

      April 4, 2013 at 2:06 am |
  20. bb

    I like a nice jicama shake with butter pecan ice cream, watercress, deep fried tofu and a 4 heaping tablespoons of ground coriander seeds.

    April 3, 2013 at 11:04 pm |
  21. bongiojf

    best Ice cream I ever had was basil flavored ice cream. Yes, basil! Can't wait to try making a shake with my new crop of basil this year!

    April 3, 2013 at 10:54 pm |
    • tb63

      Wasabi ice also rocks.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:17 pm |
  22. Deana

    Try using vanilla ice cream and adding a packet of swiss miss hot chocolate mix. Yummm.

    April 3, 2013 at 10:24 pm |
  23. dfjlj2kjkk2

    "Milkshakes should be banned, they make people fat."

    Food doesn't make people fat, people without self control make themselves fat. (with a few exepctions, for those who are medically predisposed, however this is a VERY tiny percentage of the population, orders of magnitudes lower then the number of fat people)

    Banning food because peopel cant control themselves is BS. Im not fat, i never will let myself get fat, but if i want a milk snake i certainly will make and eat one, banned or not! Same with anything else i want to eat.

    April 3, 2013 at 9:59 pm |
    • BeerBrewerDan

      When milkshakes become criminalized only the criminals will have milkshakes.

      April 4, 2013 at 7:56 am |
  24. Jeebuus

    Chocolate White Russian Shake:

    1.5 oz Kahlua
    1 oz Vodka
    a squirt of Hershey's syrup(not much)
    2 giant scoops of vanilla ice cream


    April 3, 2013 at 9:58 pm |
    • greatgod blendar

      Oh the possibilities this one makes. We must toss sacrifices in to deep pitcher and see if Blendar will bless his with his riches.

      April 4, 2013 at 5:02 am |
  25. Scott

    I remember when I was little me and my pops asked the worker at carvel what the secret was to their milkshakes, probably not a secret anymore but it's all in a few tbsp of vanilla syrup added to the ice cream and milk. Enjoy!

    April 3, 2013 at 9:17 pm |
    • DAS37

      The key to all milkshakes is indeed the syrup, although it does not necessarily have to be vanilla. I worked at Baskin Robbins back about 25 years ago (at the main training store in Burbank) and shakes were my specialty. Was always looking for new and interesting combos of ice cream and syrup flavors. Gold Medal Ribbon makes a hell of a shake btw.

      April 3, 2013 at 10:34 pm |
  26. Steven CaboWabo

    I think I would like to be the milkshake.

    April 3, 2013 at 9:09 pm |
  27. Mitch

    Thank you d-filer! A good malt is to die for.
    Chocolate malt would be part of my death row last meal!

    April 3, 2013 at 9:06 pm |
  28. Statistic

    He's got Banana all wrong, add 4 nilla wafer cookies. Best naner shake.

    April 3, 2013 at 8:32 pm |
  29. Benjamen_Tennyson

    Am I the only one aroused by that pic on top?

    Those pink lips <3

    Also.I HATE milkshakes.I like Smoothies better

    April 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
    • runner305

      No, my friend........you're not the only one.

      April 3, 2013 at 11:52 pm |
  30. theroc5156

    Also, a shake made with vanilla ice-cream and chocolate syrup is NOT a chocolate shake. It's a Black and White.

    April 3, 2013 at 8:31 pm |
  31. Mokrane

    Can we add coffee to it?


    April 3, 2013 at 8:23 pm |
  32. BeerBrewerDan

    Had a fois gras shake, ordered on a lark, and it was crazy-good. Seems the right kind of fat makes a world of difference.

    April 3, 2013 at 8:18 pm |
    • peridot2

      What meal accompanied this delight?

      April 3, 2013 at 8:54 pm |
      • BeerBrewerDan

        This was at one of those "boutique" hamburger places. Ahi tuna burger, kobe bruger, etc. I get that it's mostly gimmick, but their fries were rockin' and that milkshake really was quite good.

        April 4, 2013 at 7:58 am |
  33. Johnny L

    I make my shakes with the store brand frozen yogurt and use skim milk. Tastes good, but with a bit less fat.

    April 3, 2013 at 8:03 pm |
  34. rc roeder

    Funny, the two recipies are not appealing at all. If you want agood shake in the SF Bay Area, try Fentons

    April 3, 2013 at 7:52 pm |
    • Kate power

      I like Fentons, too. When I was younger, we'd go there as a special treat.

      May 29, 2013 at 1:47 pm |
  35. Clown

    Milkshakes should be banned, they make people fat.

    April 3, 2013 at 7:47 pm |
    • Phineas Dregg


      April 3, 2013 at 8:34 pm |
  36. Melissa

    Mmm, this sounds soooo yummy.

    April 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  37. Tony

    Is there a recipe for diabetics?

    April 3, 2013 at 7:42 pm |
  38. mojo

    Use root beer syrup (Syrup – not soda) instead of chocolate syrup – YUM!!!!!!

    April 3, 2013 at 7:31 pm |
  39. Key West Guy

    Good quailty vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup to taste with three tablespoons of warm honey and 1 teaspoon Mexican vanilla.....mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    April 3, 2013 at 7:24 pm |
  40. Fiona

    Or was it the word man_go that got me axed? You folks have a strange assortment of trigger words!

    April 3, 2013 at 7:21 pm |
    • greatgod blendar

      Its based on the generic DISQUS table.

      April 4, 2013 at 4:03 pm |
  41. Fiona

    Pie or cheesecake in a shake? That is revol_ting!!

    I tend to make smoo_thies instead –with yogurt, ice, milk and fruit – because high-quality ice cream is so fattening I think it should be enjoyed on its own. If you want an extra-th_ick concoction that tastes like it was made with ice cream, use frozen fruit. Frozen mango is amazing in a yogurt "shake." Good blends: mango and pineapple, banana and pineapple, banana and peach. I put in a teaspoon or more of Tahitian "bourbon vanilla" extract to brighten up most of my smoo_thies.

    April 3, 2013 at 7:16 pm |
  42. Fiona

    Apparently the word smoo_thies is forbidden? My comment was pulled.

    April 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  43. Chris

    My favorite is a "Black and White": Chocolate Ice Cream with Vanilla Syrup. Much better then the other way around, IMO.

    April 3, 2013 at 7:14 pm |
  44. Fiona

    Pie or cheesecake in a shake? That is revolting!

    I tend to make smoothies instead –with yogurt, ice, milk and fruit - because high-quality ice cream is so fattening I think it should be enjoyed on its own. If you want an extra-thick concoction that tastes like it was made with ice cream, use frozen fruit. Frozen mango is amazing in a yogurt "shake." Good blends: mango and pineapple, banana and pineapple, banana and peach. I put in a teaspoon or more of Tahitian "bourbon vanilla" extract to brighten up most of my smoothies.

    April 3, 2013 at 7:13 pm |
  45. Mike

    Who's idea was it to start putting whip cream on a milk shake? I like the old fashion way. Whip cream does nothing except turn a milk shake into a thin sundae.

    April 3, 2013 at 7:09 pm |
  46. Shake that thang

    Use Hot Fudge instead of chocolate syrup. To die for.

    April 3, 2013 at 6:48 pm |
    • Malted thang

      Add Malt to that Hot Fudge. Even more to die for! (Definitely my favorite.)

      April 4, 2013 at 1:10 am |
  47. Adrienne

    Try vanilla ice cream blended with orange juice. It takes very much like an orange push-up pop.

    April 3, 2013 at 6:45 pm |
    • Fiona

      We used to call that an Orange Julius, though a real OJ is not a shake.

      April 3, 2013 at 7:20 pm |
  48. cjacja

    I just made one with hanna, fresh strawberry and plain yogurt then thinned with lowfat milk. It is not so bad for you and tastes good.

    Ice cream is not bad if you only eat it now and then every couple weeks but the above can be every day if you like

    April 3, 2013 at 6:40 pm |
    • oldbopper

      I eat two scoops of Blue Bell ice cream every night. I'm far from being fat. It's not the ice cream that makes you fat, it's sitting on your a** all the time.

      April 4, 2013 at 9:16 am |
  49. D-FILER


    April 3, 2013 at 6:32 pm |
  50. Melissia

    1/2 Organic banana, 1/4 cup great semi sweet chocolate chips, 21/4 cups Organic Vanilla Ice cream, 1/4 scraped vanilla bean, 2/3 cup Rum,

    April 3, 2013 at 6:24 pm |
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