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Date Shake – the unofficial drink of Palm Springs

Date Shake

I discovered the Date Shake on one of my trips to Palm Springs, and since then, I’ve been captivated by its exotic, earthy, and caramelly flavor. So this year, after returning from Palm Springs, I decided it was time to give it a try and recreate the Date Shake recipe at home.

Who invented the Date Shake?

In the early 20th century, six Medjool date palms were brought from the Middle East and acclimated to the greater Coachella Valley area in Southern California. Soon after, in 1919, Russ Nicholl built a roadside shack in Thermal, California, where he and his family began to sell a milkshake with blended dates, inspired by the nomad population’s diet in the Middle East, based on dates and goat milk.

Later, in 1924, Floyd and Bess Shields opened the Shields Date Garden and launched their own version of the Date Shake. The Floyds had another shake variant: they used date crystals and mixed them with water into a paste, which was afterward blended with milk and ice cream. This milkshake is the same Date Shake recipe you can order today at Shields Date Garden, which has become a touristic attraction in the Coachella Valley over the years.  

Read more: Caipirinha – Brazil’s Traditional Cocktail

Date Shake Recipe


1 cup of dates (pitted and chopped)

1 ½ cup of milk (or dairy-free option)

½ cup ice cubes

½ cup Vanilla ice cream


How to make a Date Shake:

1. Soak the pitted dates. You can let them in a water bowl for a couple of hours (or overnight). If you don’t have time, just put them in a bowl with hot water for 10-15 minutes.

2. Chop the dates.

3. Put them in a blender with the other ingredients and blend until smooth.

4. Pour into a chilled glass and add some extra cinnamon on top!

You can play with this shake’s consistency: if you like your date shake to be thicker and more creamy, add more ice cream and dates and more liquids (milk and ice) if you want to be thinner.

Read more: It’s It Ice cream – a legendary food of San Francisco

Is Date Shake good for health?

Dates are a very nutritious food packed with many essential minerals and an excellent source of fiber. But they come with a high-calorie intake: 68 calories for only one date! Some of the dates benefits of dates are:

High in potassium: Potassium is a mineral involved in many of the body’s functional processes; it regulates muscle contraction, nerve impulses, and cardiac function and helps maintain healthy blood pressure.

A good source of fiber: Fibers will help digestion and regulate cholesterol levels. Each date contains 5% of your daily fiber needs.

Rich in magnesium: Magnesium helps manage stress levels and keep the nervous system healthy.

Antioxidant properties: help your body fight against free radicals and reduce inflammation in the body.

If you want to prepare a healthier Date Shake recipe, try adding some less-caloric ingredients: greek yogurt or frozen bananas instead of ice cream, reduced fat milk instead of whole milk.

Best places to try a Date Shake in Coachella Valley

Shields Date Garden in Indio

Lappert’s in Palm Springs

Hadley Fruit Orchards in Cabazon

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