Shelley Winters was a character. The lovably eccentric and outspoken blonde actress, perhaps best remembered today for her later screen roles, interviews, and television appearances, lived her life to the fullest.
Shelley started her career with a slew of sensual roles that capitalized on her blonde hair and curvaceous figure before transitioning to character actress roles. A true Method actress, Shelley was never afraid to put aside glamour for a good role. Throughout her six-decade-long career, Shelley won two Oscars, divorced three husbands, was roommates with Marilyn Monroe, and romanced some of the most notable names in the movies.
Shelley Winters' "Standard Tranquilizer"
Even during her blonde bombshell years, there was a spunky, quirkiness to Shelley. So it’s not all that surprising to discover that her favorite meal was a little unusual.
The winning combo that Shelley frequently referred to as her “standard tranquilizer”?
Chocolate milkshakes and tuna fish sandwiches.
Yes, you read that right.
The combo proved Shelley’s ultimate comfort food time and again. Whether nervous about her first film contract audition for Columbia Pictures, calming her jitters when starring opposite devastatingly handsome leading men, or celebrating career victories, Shelley reached for tuna sandwiches and chocolate shakes.
Sharing with Friends
Chocolate milkshakes and tuna fish sandwiches were such an important combo in Shelley’s life, she even turned her friends on to this unique meal.
When Shelley’s pal and sometime paramour Sean Connery was embarrassed by his first performance as James Bond Dr. No (1962), Shelley assured Connery that the film would make him a big star, and urged him to remain open to reprising the Bond role in follow-up films. All this was done at Schwab’s Drugstore over, you guessed it, chocolate milkshakes and tuna fish sandwiches. Shelley insisted it was the best meal for this watershed time in Sean Connery’s career.
And obviously Shelley’s combo worked: Connery played James Bond five times between 1962-1967.
Mink Coats, Marilyn Monroe, and Milkshakes
I also love imagining young Shelley Winters and Marilyn Monroe, roommates at the start of their respective careers, enjoying Shelley’s favorite meal together. The two blonde beauties pooled their resources to split the cost of everything from bathing suits for modeling assignments to a fancy mink coat, so it’s not unlikely that Shelley and Marilyn shared tuna fish sandwiches and a chocolate milkshake or two over the course of their friendship.
The striped swimsuit Shelley and Marilyn shared, and wore on their respective modeling shoots as starlets.
A Mint Chocolate Milkshake for Shelley
The closet thing I eat to tuna fish sandwiches these days is my chickpea salad sandwich recipe. So to celebrate Shelley, I decided to develop a milkshake. A mint chocolate milkshake, to be exact.
While the mint isn’t strictly Shelley—it was always straight chocolate shakes as far as Shelley Winters was concerned—I wanted to create a milkshake that was a little more unique.
My mint chocolate milkshake recipe begins by infusing almond milk with peppermint tea. Just boil the milk, and steep the tea bags for a few minutes, and you’ve got the delicious peppermint base of these easy milkshakes. The tea creates a fresh, very natural peppermint flavor that complements the chocolate ice cream perfectly. (And if you use non-diary ice cream, these shakes are vegan.)
Make a Mint Chocolate Milkshake!
So next time you feel like a chocolate milkshake, turn up the flavor, try something new (and a little quirky, just like Shelley) and make a Shelley Winters Mint Chocolate Milkshake.
A Few Things!
Blending the Mint Chocolate Milkshake
I don’t have a fancy blender. The most high-tech kitchen tool I have is my old-timey food processor. So that’s what I use whenever I make milkshakes. Use whatever blending apparatus you have or prefer, and these shakes will turn out great.
My Favorite Tea for a Mint Chocolate Milkshake
I prefer to using Twinings Pure Peppermint tea in this recipe.
I had Twinings tea for the first time in Bath, Somerset, England, during my very first trip to Europe. I’ve been a fan of the brand ever since. This quintessentially English brand can be found at most grocery stores these days. But if you’d like to try Twinings Pure Peppermint and can’t find it locally, here it is on Amazon [aff. link]. Any peppermint or mint tea will be delicious here though, so use whatever you have on hand.
Shelley Winters Mint Chocolate Milkshake
- 4 Peppermint tea bags, (I prefer Twinings Pure Peppermint, but use whatever peppermint or mint tea you prefer)
- 1 ½ cup almond milk
- 440 grams (about 3 cups) chocolate ice cream, (almond, cashew, dairy, whatever your ice cream preference or have on hand)
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
Boil the almond milk
- In a small saucepan, bring the almond milk to a boil over medium-high heat.
- Once the milk comes to a rolling boiling, keep it boiling for 30 seconds, then remove from the heat.
Infuse the almond milk with peppermint
- Place all 4 tea bags in the hot milk, and allow the bags to steep according to package instructions. DON’T OVER-STEEP! Follow the instructions on the tea bag and set your timer.
- (I prefer to use Twinings Pure Peppermint tea here, so I steep my tea bags for exactly 4 minutes, as per package instructions.)
Let the almond milk cool
- Take the tea bags out of the milk, and whisk the milk a couple times with a fork.
- Put the saucepan with the peppermint milk in the refrigerator (over a hot pad!), and let the milk cool in the refrigerator for 15 minutes. (You could transfer the hot milk to a cup or bowl, but I’m all about minimizing dishes.)
Make the milkshakes
- Add the chocolate ice cream to your blending apparatus. (I use my food processor, but any blending device will work.)
- Add the vanilla extract and ¾ cup of the peppermint milk to your blender. The milk will have thickened in the refrigerator and look a little lumpy at this point.
- Pulse to get things going, then blend until the chocolate ice cream, vanilla, and peppermint milk are all smooth and incorporated.
- The speed at which this happens will depend on your blending device, but it won’t take long. For me, it’s about 30-45 seconds.
Serve and enjoy!
- Serve immediately, and enjoy!
- You can also freeze the milkshake to enjoy later. If you do, and if you’re like me and don’t enjoy rock-hard milkshakes, you’ll want to give the shake some time to thaw before drinking.