Tag Archives: Milkshake

Milkshakes AKA Frappè: The Magic of Mixing Gelato and Milk

Milkshakes are classic drinks made with gelato and ice cold milk. They were invented in the US, but it’s the Italian gelato that makes them memorable. Milkshakes, aka frappè, are easy to make, and delicious to drink.

A popular trio of milkshakes created with the the best flavors from GIO Gelati.

“You don’t need to go to heaven to find out what a milkshake is like, because we bring heaven to you in our milkshakes.” ― Anthony T. Hincks

What’s the history of gelato milkshakes?

Gelato milkshakes, called frappè in Italian, are a drink that was born in the 1800s. The original milkshake was a healthy and robust drink with whiskey and eggnog as the base ingredients. At the time, pharmacies were selling milkshakes as a tonic.


Throughout time, syrups and gelato were added to the recipe and milkshakes slowly changed to become the popular creamy drink we now know and love.

Get the the best gelato flavors for a perfect milkshake

Still to this day, the most popular flavors for a milkshake are the gelato classics: chocolate, vanilla, strawberry, and banana gelato. You will always find those flavors in our stores in San Francisco and San Ramon. You can also get them at home thanks to our GIO Club gelato subscription and our online store. Nevertheless, we always suggest to try new, more particular combinations with our ever-changing selection of gelato flavors. What about a milkshake made with White-Mint-Chip or Bacio, or our Gianduja chocolate chip inspired by the famous “Bacio Perugina?”

Making gelato milkshake the old fashioned way

Nowadays, we all have a modern mixer but it’s fascinating to look at the first mixers used to make milkshakes. These old and heavy machines did not run on electricity but rather on human strength.

Here’s a look at an approved invention from the United States Patent Office in 1889.

The inventors, Francis H. Shepherd and John W. Meyer stated: “Our invention relates to improvements in machines for mixing beverages—such as “milk-shakes,” “shaker-lemonades,” “mint juleps,’ etc.” They’re as passionate about milkshakes as we are, if not more!

How to make milkshakes at home

Let’s start with a banana milkshake, a simple flavor everybody loves. Preparing the milkshake is a reasonably straightforward process.

  1. Start by pouring a glass of cold milk into your mixer.
  2. Add two medium scoops of banana gelato, and a teaspoon of cardamom or cinnamon.
  3. Mix until the texture becomes creamy and homogenous.
  4. Then pour your milkshake into a cold glass.
  5. Lastly, add a few slices of banana for texture and a bit of cocoa powder on top.

This simple recipe makes for a perfectly healthy but sweet snack for both kids and adults. Of course, you can have fun with the recipe by mixing and matching your favorite gelato flavors.

A soda jerk throws a scoop of ice cream into a malt cup to prepare a milkshake (The Library of Congress).

Your next milkshake experiment?

Are you ready to go on a culinary adventure? If you are a coffee lover, we have a suggestion for a tasty caffeinated milkshake. Mix a scoop of stracciatella gelato and one of hazelnut with a glass of hazelnut milk. Add two espresso shots and you have a fantastic breakfast alternative. Healthy, nutritious and caffeinated!

Milkshakes in American pop culture

Milkshakes are now part of American pop culture and have appeared in countless movies. One the most famous milkshake scenes is in Quentin Tarantino’s “Pulp Fiction” with John Travolta and Uma Thurman.

Another famous milkshake scene is in the famous movie “Pee-wee’s Big Holiday” released in 2016 by Netflix.

How not to make a milkshake, according to Pee-Wee “Big Holiday.”