It was a delicious-sounding recipe from Cook’s Illustrated that kicked off my quest for Denver’s ultimate strawberry milk shake. I’m not talking about an artificially pink, cloyingly sweet dessert. No, I wanted a treat made with real ice cream that sings of the summer fruit. While I love the rich Häagen-Dazs blends at Smashburger and Ted’s Montana Grill and the lighter-tasting gelato version from Gelazzi, it’s the clean-tasting, true-strawberry malted shake from Little Man Ice Cream that gets my nod.

To make a perfect shake at home, refer to the recipe that ignited my search. In true Cook’s Illustrated fashion, the editors insist on using whole ingredients and proper blending technique: “Pulse the mixture in the blender until the ice cream begins to break down before blending on high until smooth and frothy. This ensures that the ice cream is evenly incorporated into the milk.”

Strawberry Milk Shake
(Serves 4)
1 1/2 pints strawberry ice cream
1 cup whole milk
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh strawberries (or frozen)

Pulse all the ingredients in a blender until the ice cream begins to break down, about 5 pulses, then blend on high until completely smooth.

Amanda M. Faison
Amanda M. Faison
Freelance writer Amanda M. Faison spent 20 years at 5280 Magazine, 12 of those as Food Editor.