Summertime Treats to Beat The Heat: Shaved Ice and Milkshakes

Remember when we were all complaining about the cold? And now…it’s 100 degrees outside and even your hair follicles are sweating. This summer, the brain freeze is definitely worth it in order to taste these irresistible local frozen treats. Here are our favorite frozen treats to beat the heat in Utah: Milkshakes and Shaved ice.

Shaved Ice in Utah

Hawaiian ‘Shave’ Ice

What it is not: A snow cone

What it is: Shaved ice—which Hawaiians shorten to just “shave ice”— is finer and softer than the ice used in snow cones, so it melts on the tongue. It has a long history—some date its origin to 7th century Taiwan. The Japanese who came to work in Hawaiian sugar plantations brought shaved ice along with them and it became a signature island treat. Now it’s everywhere. Hawaiians, of course, take it up a notch and hide a dollop of silky ice cream, coconut milk or condensed milk underneath the icy surface. 

Who does it best?

How to Do it Yourself:

Process 6 cups of ice (2 cups at a time) until they are fine, not crunchy. Use the pulse function to do this. Place a scoop of ice cream in each serving dish, top with shaved ice and drizzle with flavored syrup (simmer 1 pound of pitted peeled plums with 1⁄2 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon lemon juice until the sugar has dissolved; cook further about 20 minutes. Strain and chill until ready to use). Serve over a scoop of ice cream or sweetened condensed milk. Sprinkle with coconut flakes.

Milk Shakes

What it is not: Ice cream

Shaved Ice in Utah

What it is: To be clear, there are two kinds of milkshakes—the soft-serve one served at fast food restaurants that is so thick you can’t suck it through a straw and the one made with ice cream and milk. We call these “real” milkshakes, but we like both.

Who Does it Best?

  • The Orginal Iceberg Drive Inn opened in 1960 and at first served “real” milkshakes. But customers requested a thicker shake, and owner Lamar Scrensen developed the Famous Thick Shake, so thick it stands inches above the rim of the cup. 3900 S. 900 East, SLC,
  • Tonyburgers serves the best “real” milkshake in town. Made with scoops of ice cream blended with milk and flavoring, you can suck it up through a straw and drive a car at the same time! 613 E. 400 South, SLC,

How to Do it Yourself:

To make a thick shake like the ones at Iceberg Drive Inn, you really need special equipment. But to make a real milkshake, just bring out the blender. Let your ice cream soften a bit before using it. Place 4 scoops in a blender with 1/4 cup of whole milk and a few drops of vanilla. Blend, stopping occasionally to scrape down the sides, until it’s as thick as you like it. It’s pretty to top it with whipped cream and a cherry, but that’s up to you!

Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh
Jeremy Pugh is Salt Lake magazine's Editor. He covers culture, history, the outdoors and whatever needs a look. Jeremy is also the author of the book "100 Things to Do in Salt Lake City Before You Die" and the co-author of the history, culture and urban legend guidebook "Secret Salt Lake."

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