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The Sweet History of Milkshakes and Soda Floats



Welcome to Venetian Cocktail Lounge, where the elegance of a classic speakeasy meets the nostalgic charm of a soda fountain. While we take pride in our meticulously crafted cocktails, we also offer a delightful array of non-alcoholic treats, including milkshakes and soda floats. These beloved beverages have a rich history that has charmed generations, and today, we want to take you on a journey through their origins and evolution.


The Beginnings of Milkshakes

The milkshake, as we know it today, has a fascinating history that dates back to the late 19th century. Originally, milkshakes were more like a wholesome tonic, made with eggs, whiskey, and milk. These "health" drinks were quite different from the sweet, creamy treats we enjoy today.


The transformation began in the early 1900s when ice cream was added to the mix. By the 1920s, milkshakes had become a staple in soda fountains and diners across America. The electric blender, invented in 1922 by Stephen Poplawski, revolutionized the milkshake, making it easier to create the smooth, frothy texture we love. This innovation quickly made milkshakes a popular choice for people of all ages.






The Birth of the Soda Float

The soda float, another iconic treat, has its own unique history. Also known as an "ice cream float," this refreshing beverage was invented by Robert McCay Green in Philadelphia in 1874. According to legend, Green was experimenting with different drinks to attract customers during a particularly hot summer. When he ran out of cream, he used vanilla ice cream as a substitute, creating a delightful combination that quickly became a hit.

Initially called a "Black Cow" or "Brown Cow," depending on the soda used, the soda float became a staple of American soda fountains. The classic root beer float, made with root beer and vanilla ice cream, remains a favorite to this day.


The Golden Age of Soda Fountains

The early 20th century was the golden age of soda fountains, where milkshakes and soda floats became synonymous with American culture. These establishments were social hubs where people gathered to enjoy delicious treats and good company. The art of crafting these beverages became a cherished tradition, with soda jerks (the skilled individuals who prepared them) becoming local celebrities.




A Nostalgic Revival

At Venetian Cocktail Lounge, we celebrate this rich history by bringing back the classic charm of milkshakes and soda floats. Our menu features a variety of flavors, from traditional vanilla and chocolate milkshakes to inventive soda floats with a modern twist. Whether you're indulging in a creamy milkshake or enjoying the fizzy delight of a soda float, each sip is a journey back in time.


We invite you to visit our speakeasy and experience the magic of these timeless beverages. Whether you're enjoying a night out with friends or looking for a sweet treat with family, our milkshakes and soda floats are sure to delight.


Come join us at Venetian Cocktail Lounge, where every visit is a celebration of the past and a toast to the future. Cheers!

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