The Greek Migrant Who Brought Milkshake to Australia

milkbar-620x0According to researchers Leonard Janiszewski and Effy Alexakis of Macquarie University who decided to track down the origins of the milk bar, more than 80 years ago, a Greek migrant, Joachim Tavlaridis, is responsible for the creation of the famous milkshake and the craze that followed it.

In 1932, Tavlaridis, who is also known as Mick Adams, opened his milk bar in Martin Place, where he served a concoction he had created using electrical mixers. At that point the now world famous milkshake did not contain any milk. Tavlaridis made them by blending milk with fresh and dried fruit, cream, butter, eggs, chocolate, honey, caramel, malt and yeast.

During its opening day, the Greek migrant’s milk bar attracted more than 5,000 customers, who piled outside in order to taste the “shakes,” which were promoted as healthy food. However, Tavlaridis had also created another, riskier version of the drink which contained rum and was called “bootlegger punch.”

”Within five years of the Black and White milk bar opening in Martin Place, some 4000 milk bars were operating in Australia,” says Janiszewski. “There was a steady rise in the popularity of milkshakes from the 1930s.”

Furthermore, the two researchers claim that the shake’s popularity in the US is, at least indirectly, connected to Australia. “US servicemen who came to Australia in the 1940s started drinking milkshakes here,” Janiszewski said. “In the same way that they introduced instant coffee to Australians, they took the popularity of the milkshake back to the United States.”

Ice cream, sugar, artificial colors and flavors were added to the famous milkshakes by the 1970s. George Poulos is a Greek migrant who runs a milk bar in Summer Hill since the 1950s and he still works. “It keeps me young,” he said to, “I’m still making milkshakes.”