It’s Chocolate Milkshake Day!

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When I read that today was marked as National Chocolate Milkshake Day, I knew what I would be looking for as I headed down the stairs to my Culinary Cellar:  my old Ghirardelli Original Chocolate Cookbook to find the recipe for a chocolate milkshake.


Ghirardelli Square in San Francisco near Fisherman’s Wharf used to be one of my favorite places to shop when I lived across the Golden Gate in the early ’70’s.  After shopping all the boutiques, Ghirardelli Chocolate Factory  on the upper level by the fountain was the last stop as a place to relax and have some ice cream or a shake before heading home.  I can still smell the place.  The sweet chocolate-filled air hits you in the face as soon as you walk inside.

I found the chocolate milkshake recipe, but I also found an added treasure inside the cookbook.  The restaurant used to offer free recipe booklets at the checkout and lo and behold, it fell out of my cookbook as I opened it.


The booklet also contained the same recipe for the chocolate milkshake as the cookbook, so I knew it must be a time-tested recipe.  As so it was.  Oh, so good.


After enjoying the milkshake (and sharing with husband Bill) I became curious on the history of milkshakes.  It seems that the first known printed reference to a “milkshake” dates back to 1885 and contained whiskey for medicinal purposes.  But the name milkshake actually got the name from being served in bars, because if the customer enjoyed the drink, he shook hands with the bartender.  If not, the bartender didn’t get a tip.  By 1900, milkshakes became more as we know them today, as a treat using chocolate, vanilla, or strawberry syrups and eventually with ice cream.  By the 1930’s, milkshakes were staples at malt shops and a typical soda fountain offering.  By the 1950’s, popular places like diners, lunch counters at the “Five & Dime” stores, Woolworth’s, and burger joints all offered milkshakes and malts.  A milkshake machine salesman named Ray Kroc bought exclusive rights to a 1930’s era Multimixer from the inventor and used it at his newly opened McDonald’s restaurant.

Milkshakes and malts have never lost their appeal to the public, and now we can find milkshakes in a variety of flavors, even though sometimes the best is made the simple and original way.  And in case you were wondering, there is also a National Vanilla Milkshake Day, June 20th.  But since that day has passed, enjoy Ghirardelli’s recipe for a great chocolate milkshake.

5.0 from 3 reviews
Chocolate Milkshake
  • Milk Shake:
  • 1 cup chocolate ice cream
  • ¼ cup milk
  • 2 Tablespoons Golden Gate Chocolate Sauce (recipe follows)
  • Golden Gate Chocolate Sauce:
  • 1-1/3 cups Ghirardelli Ground Chocolate
  • 1 cup sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  1. For Chocolate Milk Shake:
  2. In blender, combine all ingredients listed above for the milkshake. Mix at low speed until smooth. (For a malted milk shake, add 1 Tablespoon of malted milk powder)
  3. Makes 1 serving.
  4. For Golden Gate Chocolate Sauce:
  5. In a saucepan, combine the ground chocolate, sugar, and salt. Add hot water, stirring until chocolate is dissolved. Heat to boiling, lower heat and cook five minutes without stirring. Remove from heat and add vanilla. This is a basic sauce also used to make hot chocolate, or it can be served over ice cream, cake, or with pudding. You will only need 2 Tablespoons of this sauce for the milkshake, so refrigerate the leftovers. It will keep for weeks.



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17 Responses to It’s Chocolate Milkshake Day!

  1. September 12, 2016 at 11:36 am #

    Yum! Thanks for the fun history lesson. Of coarse, it started with whiskey for medicinal purposes!!! But today, we know better and serve it with chocolate. Isn’t Dark Chocolate considered medicinal?!?

    • September 12, 2016 at 11:43 am #

      Of course it is!

  2. September 12, 2016 at 2:13 pm #

    I really love this blog. You always have fun and positive posts. And of course, I love the look through cookbooks and you inspired me to buy one at one point. Love it. And I’m thinking about buying the Porridge book.

    • September 12, 2016 at 2:35 pm #

      Thank you, Dana! Your sweet comment made my day! I’m curious to know which cookbook you bought and if you like it. The Porridge & Muesli book is very nice, and different, which I love.

      • September 12, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

        Hi Debbie – I bought the Bakery Lane Soup Bowl book. I have to admit, I earmarked many recipes, but I’ve yet to make one. It’s still really hot where I’m at – 91 degrees in my kitchen in the afternoon without the oven on….. I can’t wait for cooler temperatures. That’s why Porridge and Muesli appeal to me. 🙂

        Any chance you’ll make a “must have” or “most used” or “favorites” list of your cookbooks? I’m teetering on 400 myself…. I try to use all of them, but of course there are some I reach for more than others.

        • September 12, 2016 at 9:48 pm #

          Bakery Lane Soup Bowl is a classic and one of my favorites. You picked a good one! I never thought about putting together a most used or favorites list, but that’s a good idea. Let me ponder that one. It might take me a while to select favorites because I have so many cookbooks and so many favorites, but I like the idea! Thanks for the suggestion.

  3. September 12, 2016 at 3:12 pm #

    PS We moved to Hawaii, that’s why it’s so hot!

  4. April 27, 2017 at 1:47 pm #

    Debbie, this milkshake looks so smooth and creamy! I would like this cookbook but I was wondering, do you have to buy special Ghirardelli chocolate for the recipes? Could I use Hersheys or Nestle instead?
    I was reading the previous comments on this post and Dana said you inspired her to purchase a cookbook. You have inspired me to buy MANY cookbooks!!!!!! It is my hobby!
    Thank you Debbie!!
    Lisa from Conroe

    • April 28, 2017 at 7:32 am #

      Lisa, any of your favorite chocolates will work fine. I used Ghirardelli because I have the cookbook bought long ago when I lived near San Francisco and Ghirardelli Square was one of my favorite areas to shop. It’s right near Fisherman’s Wharf. I’m glad you find inspiration to buy cookbooks! Such a fun (and delicious!) hobby.

  5. May 28, 2018 at 4:21 pm #

    If I recall that brochure used to have a cake recipe that was easy and used boiling water. Do you have the brochure with that recipe? I would love it if you could share it! TIA

    • May 28, 2018 at 4:41 pm #

      Hi Lori- You are absolutely correct that the brochure had the cake recipe you described and I made it many times. However, I lost my cookbooks in a devastating flood last summer and no longer have the brochure, or the cookbook. I got that brochure so many years ago, I doubt it is still available anywhere. If you ever happen to find the recipe, could you please send it to me? I’ll do the same. Maybe someone reading this will have it and help us both. Here is a link to the story of the flood if you are interested.

  6. May 31, 2018 at 8:51 am #

    Oh Debbie, I am so sorry to hear about the flood. I actually might have that cook book at home as I am with my daughter now. When I get back home I will certainly take a look and let you know if I locate my copy. I’ll also keep you in mind as often friends and family have cookbooks they no longer want. Maybe a bit here and there can help you re-build your collection. Please email me so that we can keep in contact

    • May 31, 2018 at 1:40 pm #

      You are so kind, Lori. I’ll send you an email.

  7. June 10, 2018 at 4:39 pm #

    Hi Debbie, thanks for sharing the recipes! You said to use Ghirardelli ground Chocolate.. this is unsweetened ground cocoa right? I’d assume unsweetened considering the cup of sugar. I have Ghirardelli sweetened ground cocoa .. could I use this instead of unsweetened and the sugar? Looking forward to trying many more recipes! thanks!

    • June 12, 2018 at 10:24 am #

      Hi Kristen! Yes, you are correct, it’s unsweetened ground chocolate. Sweetened would not work. Thank you for writing, and I hope there will be other recipes you would like to try!

  8. April 29, 2021 at 9:57 am #

    Yum yum yum!!!! Thank you soooooo much because I’ve tried it was super sweeeeet!! I give it a,100000/10.

    • May 2, 2021 at 1:23 pm #

      Thank you! I’m so glad you liked it!

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