Cook Out's Watermelon Milkshakes Are the Epitome of Summer

The days grow longer and the thermostat constantly rises. There's nothing like summertime in the South. The cicada sing through the night, sweet tea is found on the porch, and regional fast-food chain Cook Out is selling their legendary watermelon milkshakes. Known for their 40 different milkshakes, Cook Out only sells its watermelon milkshake during the months of July and August. And by the looks of it, the fruity ice cream has quite the cult following on hot summer days.

What is Cook Out?

Opened in Greensboro, North Carolina in 1989, Cook Out has expanded to over 250 stores in Alabama, Georgia, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina, Tennessee, Virginia, and West Virginia. Along with 40+ different milkshake flavors, the fast food restaurant also sells charbroiled burgers, fries, corn dogs, and chicken nuggets. They also offer Cheerwine ice cream floats as well.

Unlike watermelon smoothies, which usually feature fresh seedless watermelon, ice cubes, and a liquid like coconut milk, almond milk or coconut water, these watermelon milkshakes only have two ingredients: frozen watermelon and soft serve vanilla ice cream. Not to mention, they're the perfect refreshing drink for gluten free and low carb diets.

This favorite recipe is essentially a combo of a watermelon popsicle, and a slushie. The "slush" is delicious frozen watermelon! And while it "technically" is called a shake, you'll have to ditch the straw for this frosty treat and dig in with a spoon to get all those huge chunks of fruit.

How To Make a Watermelon Milkshake at Home

Don't live near a Cook Out? Don't worry, it's easy to make a watermelon milkshake recipe at home with a few ingredients, and there's hardly any prep time.

To begin, grab a fresh watermelon, learn how to choose a ripe one here, and remove the rind and chop the melon into cubes. In total, you'll need about equal parts of cubed watermelon and ice cream. So if you have a pint of ice cream, cut up two cups of watermelon for this easy recipe.

If you like your shakes super icy, stick the watermelon cubes in a single layer on a baking sheet and freeze for an hour. This makes your total time longer but is worth the wait!

When you are ready to make the shakes, take 75% of the watermelon (eyeballing it is fine) and add it to a blender and blend until smooth. Add in the vanilla ice cream and blend until smooth. Stir in the remaining watermelon chunks, add a garnish of fresh mint for class, and serve in tall glasses with straws and spoons.

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This post was originally published on July 11, 2019.