Photo by Claire Lower.

Making a milkshake seems to have become an extreme sport. There are boozy shakes, candy-encrusted shakes, and shakes that come with entire slices of cake. There is, however, one classic, iconic shake missing from this dairy-soaked fever dream: the chocolate malt.

Welcome to Retro Week, where we’ll be firing up the flux capacitor and bringing you 1950s know-how on everything from casserole-making to fallout-shelter-building to the joys of letting kids relax and play with trash.

If you’ve never had a chocolate malt, I feel badly for you, but it’s not your fault. Classic soda fountains aren’t exactly on the corner of every Main Street, and—if you want to make your own—malted milk powder has to be ordered from the World Wide Web.

It is, however, worth the trouble. A chocolate malt is chocolaty, yes, but it’s also malty, which means it has a kind of baked, toasty roastiness to it that you just don’t get from a regular chocolate shake. (Or, more succinctly: it’s tastes like a Whopper or Malteser, the latter of which is far superior.)

Anyway, the lack of malts in America today is a travesty. How can something like this Peeps-studded monstrosity be allowed to live when a malted milkshake is so hard to find? Luckily, all is not lost, as making one at home is very easy. To be the soda jerk you want to see in the world, you will need:

  • A couple of very large scoops of very good vanilla ice cream (I used half a pint.)
  • Your favorite chocolate syrup
  • WHOLE milk
  • 2 or 3 rounded tablespoons of malted milk powder
  • Whipped cream
  • A violently red maraschino cherry
  • Some sort of blending apparatus (I used my immersion blender, which allowed me to build my malt in the very glass I drank it from.)

The steps to this sweet dance are very simple. Start by scooping your ice cream into a large cup.

Add a healthy amount of chocolate syrup.

Whether you sing “pour some syrup on meeeaaaah” while you do this is up to you.

Surround, but don’t drown, your ice cream with whole milk. (Seriously, if I catch you using skim or 2% we will have words; now is not the time to skimp.)

Add the malted milk powder.

You are now ready to blend. To get that perfect thick-but-still-sippable consistency, you are going to want to alternate between pulsing with your immersion blended and stirring with a spoon. (You can do this in a regular blender, just be careful to not over-mix.) If your malt is a little thin, simple add more ice cream.

Top your creation with some whipped cream and a cherry, and stick a straw in it.

Sip, and let yourself be transported back to a simpler time, a time before gravity-defying, cotton candy-enrobed ice cream beverages. If you want to be even more of a (soda) jerk, you can “burn one all the way,” which is jerk slang for “a chocolate malt made with chocolate syrup and chocolate ice cream.”

en

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