Shake vs. Malt – And What’s The Difference Anyway?

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Shake vs. Malt – Have you ever been reading an article about traditional Soda Fountain drinks and wondered exactly what they mean by a milkshake and a malt? Even the old Archie comics refer to malts.

shake vs malt

But what are they, actually? The most obvious difference is the addition of malt powder to the milk. But there are a lot more characteristics that separate the two.

The story behind Malts

According to studies, malts were first created in the 1920’s, when an employee in a Soda Fountain shop, decided to add malt to the shakes, to see if the result would be popular. The malt added a unique taste that kept people coming back for more; captivated by the somewhat different flavor of the drink.


A shake is made by blending ice cream, milk and cream together to make a milkshake. This can be done using any home blender, or a special milkshake maker. Milkshakes can be made in whatever flavor you prefer. Today, there are syrups available, allowing you to choose from any number of flavors.

What’s your flavor?

Traditionally, the most popular flavors are still vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry, but shakes are now available in almost any flavor you can imagine, by simply adding the flavored syrup to a standard vanilla shake. Some of these modern flavors include bubble-gum, toffee, caramel, coffee, banana, hazelnut and many more.


These are prepared according to a strict, traditional recipe. Dry malt powder is added to the wet ingredients, which, when blended thoroughly, is evenly distributed throughout the mixture, bringing its unique, delicate flavor to the malted shake.

No other flavors will be added, as they do not mix well with the malty taste, with a very slight tartness. The Malt has its own unique flavor and you either love it or you don’t. If you love it, you won’t want a regular shake, and you won’t miss the flavors.

Shake vs. Malt – Conclusion

So, to wrap it up; the difference between shake vs malt is that with a shake, anything goes, you can make it according to your preference, and add whatever flavor you prefer. A malt, however, comes in one flavor and is made using specific quantities of each ingredient.

Including a dry malt powder, that gives it that special malty taste. Shakes tend to be sweeter, whereas malts are less sweet and have a uniquely tart aftertaste.

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Monica Chortle

I am one of the home-makers, engaged in the cooking activities for a long hour. While my relatives get bored with any food, I try to find out the new recipes. Moreover, my friends also request me to arrange a party. I get busy in creating distinctive dishes. Read More