Walgreen’s Original Malted Milk Shake Recipe

In the 1920s, Walgreens was on the rise, with 20 stores in Chicago. They were quickly becoming a big name in the retail scene.

And let me tell you, that decade was a game-changer for them. By 1929, they had 525 stores in hotspots like New York City and Florida.

So, how’d they do it? They had a top-notch team, cool store layouts, fair prices, and killer customer service.

But here’s the twist: one seemingly small idea played a considerable role. In 1922, Ivar “Pop” Coulson whipped up the legendary Walgreens malted milkshake at the Chicago Loop store at 17 East Washington.

The Chocolate Malted, topped with whipped cream and cherry + two vanilla wafers for 20 cents, became a total hit.

Walgreens Malt Milk Shake
Walgreens Malt Milk Shake

Pop Coulson was all about pushing the boundaries. He’d been jazzing up the Walgreens soda fountain since 1914, always looking for ways to improve things.

He also had this secret weapon: Walgreens’ top-grade ice cream, made right in their Chicago plant.

Before Pop’s revelation, malted milk drinks were a mix of milk, chocolate syrup, and malt powder in a metal can poured into a glass. But one scorching summer day, Pop decided to kick things up a notch.

He threw a big scoop of vanilla ice cream and another into the mix. And let me tell you, the rest is history!

Old Fashioned Chocolate Malted Milk Recipe

Walgreens in 1960  Metairie, Louisiana
Walgreens in 1960 – Metairie, Louisiana


  • One Tablespoonful Malt Powder
  • 1½ oz. Chocolate Syrup
  • 3 scoops of Vanilla Ice Cream
  • 5½ oz. of Cold Milk
  • Whipped Cream


  1. Place everything in the mixer, but do not over-mix
  2. Pour Malted Milk in a Glass Approximately ⅔ Full
  3. Use a Generous Portion of Whipped Topping in a 10 oz. Glass
  4. Serve the Remainder of Malted in a Shaker Along with the Glass to the Guest
  5. Use a straw to drink and serve with cookies

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