Shakespeare’s… Milkshake Bar?

Are these the most bizarrely named milkshakes in the world?

I consider myself a bit of a Shakespeare aficionado yet still I don’t remember any reference to milkshakes in his plays. In fact the closest I can get to that is the “too full o’the milk of human kindness” from Lady Macbeth… that and her knowing how tender it is to love the babe that milks her…

So you can imagine my surprise when I saw that the milkshake shop I used to frequent in Oxford which had closed in February had been reopened today rebranded as Shakespeare’s Milkshake Bar. They’ve broken away from the parent company and have had to come up with something different. I’m not sure if the Shakespeare bit was an attempt to lure tourists (very limited Shakespeare connection in Oxford) but it has given rise to a series of milkshakes which are named (completely randomly) after Shakespeare plays.

Today my boyfriend and I opted for the All’s Well That Ends Well containing those classic Shakespearean snacks Reese’s peanut butter cups, toffee crisps and minstrels. Well at least they technically had minstrels in the time of Shakespeare.

Further bizarre combinations included:

Hamlet Banana, coconut and malt (knew there was a reason I didn’t like that play…)

Macbeth Oreo, bournville with mini oreo top (missed the chocolate thing when I read it)

Romeo and Juliet Strawberry and nutella with a flake top (Romeo was a bit flaky…)

The Comedy of Errors Skittles, bubblegum millions with a popping candy top (one word: error)

The full list also includes Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, As You Like It, Merchant of Venice, Much Ado About Nothing and The Tempest. The most baffling use of play names I have ever come across. Still, the milkshakes are delicious even if the whole name thing is weird.

If you were going to make a Shakespeare milkshake, what would yours be called and what would it contain? I think I’d have things like a Bloody Dagger with lots of red like strawberries, jammy dodgers and strawberry millions. Or Puck’s Potion with love hearts, sherbert fountain and wham bar (for that I’ve just woken up and find myself in love with a person who hates me experience…)


10 thoughts on “Shakespeare’s… Milkshake Bar?

  1. theveryhungrybookworm

    hmmm, I think they should have one named “Damn Spot” with absolutely sinful ingredients- probably lots and lots of chocolate.

  2. Juliet

    I think this is a fantastic idea, i was a huge ShakeAway fan and would visit the shop most weekends.
    I think you are being a little judgemental with regards to their choice of name, I have done some research on the matter, and have indeed found out the building has connections to Shakespeare, and the Creations Theatre company are using the milkshake bar as an end to their Shakespeare walking tour, if they can find enough about the Bard to create a tour of Oxford, then why not create a milkshake bar in the city too!
    Happy Milkshake Creating 🙂

    1. Siobhan

      Not judgemental, as I say, the shakes are great but the names are lazy. They could have been quite quirky with a bit of effort, and I think it’s worth going to a bit of effort to avoid it becoming a generic tourist trap. The picturesque English cliche. To name a banana and coconut milkshake Hamlet is just silly.

      Parts of the covered market stood in Elizabethan times, but have no link to Shakespeare that I’m aware of. I’d love to hear a bit more about it if you’ve read differently? The Creation Theatre tour is street performance in inspirational settings, they again have no link to Shakespeare per se.

      Good posting name, even if it is a pseudonym.

  3. Siobhan

    Ha! That made me chuckle in an evil fashion. I haven’t tried Moo-Moo’s. The queues are always too long for me to get anywhere near there, which is always a sign of a high quality milkshake. I will make it my mission for June.

    I went in to Shakespeares the other day and there was the weirdest collection of quotations displayed on the walls. Some favourites included the witches in Macbeth’s something wicked this way comes, and the Twelfth Night having greatness thrust upon them. I wonder whether they were aware of the sexual connotations that particular line is normally performed with…

  4. swampy

    Mt Dear old things,if you live in oxford you would know that Shakespear offten Stayed at the golldencrss on his way to london.One time on his way to london to perform with his company,he performed a rehersal of his new play HAMLET in the courtyard hence the name SHAKSPEARS

  5. Siobhan

    I’ll resist the urge to edit the spelling and grammar of that comment and address the logic that lurks in there somewhere… Firstly, there is no actual concrete proof that Shakespeare stayed or performed Hamlet there, just a popular local legend. Even if he did stay there and perform once, he has, as I said, very little connection to the area. Secondly, the area has much stronger links with Tolkien, C.S Lewis and Lewis Carroll if it genuinely were a literary homage… I suspect that Shakespeare just sounded conveniently like Shakeaway but removed any branding and franchise issue.

    But please feel free to explain, since this was the main crux of the matter, what Hamlet has to do with banana and coconut.

  6. Sara england

    Why do people always want to look so deeply into things. There are several names one could suggest however Shakespeare’s Shake bing the operative
    Word seems to fit the bill vey well. Having visited the bar several times and laughed at the quotes whilst enjoying a well made milkshake or coffee all I can say is well done to the new young owners Oxford needs to support local people running local companies.

  7. Siobhan

    I will repeat again, I like the milkshakes, I like the milkshake bar well enough. But the names are, in my opinion- to which I am entitled, quite unimaginative and bland when they could have been so much better with a bit of thought. In fact, if anything a promotional opportunity has been missed because they could have asked people to suggest flavours (like that other great local company G&D do). If you’ve read my blog you’ll see I am a strong advocate of supporting local companies.

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