Lillet Buttermilk Shakes Recipe

Lillet-spiked buttermilk shakes. Just a quick grown-up twist on the classic vanilla milkshake.

Lillet Buttermilk Shakes

A lot of things were banished to the basement in our recent move. The basement is expansive, and the general rule of thumb was this: if we weren't going to need it in the following three weeks, use a big, fat, Sharpie to indicate basement/sotano on the cardboard box. Straight to the basement. One perplexing item that ended up in the kitchen was a milkshake maker. After living in the garage for years, it seemed like the sort of thing that would go to the basement without much of a discussion. But apparently not. Wayne wanted to put it to use, so it has been hanging out, in my line of sight, for weeks. Correspondingly, the idea for this shake popped into my head. Tiny, thick vanilla buttermilk shakes spiked with Lillet.

Lillet Buttermilk Shakes

Buttermilk shakes are my favorite. But I like them small - more of a big shot than anything else. These turned out nicely in part because the Lillet brings a subtle booziness and fragrant citrus flavors to the creamy slush. I suspect a lot of you have herb gardens with basil plants that are sprouting pretty flowers right now - I picked a few from my planter, and sprinkled them on top of each shake.

Lillet Buttermilk Shakes

Let me know if you have other things you like to do with Lillet. I mention a few basic ideas down below in the head notes, but I'd love to know if any of you do anything super interesting with it. It's a favorite around here for sure. But typically just on the rocks or with a splash of sparkling water.

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Lillet Buttermilk Shake

If you end up buying a bottle of Lillet just to make these shakes, don't limit it to shake-making. The occasional Lillet on the rocks, or Lillet & soda water are favorite summertime drinks around here. And a good way to work through the bottle.

2 cups / 1 pint vanilla ice cream (or, creme fraiche ice cream)
1/3 cup / 80 ml Lillet
1/3 cup / 80 ml buttermilk
basil flowers, optional

Let the ice cream sit out for 5 minutes or so, just to soften a bit. Add it to a bowl or milkshake cup. Pout the Lillet and buttermilk over the ice cream, and mix to combine. If you don't have a milkshake maker, you can use a hand blender, or just let the ice cream soften a bit, and mix by hand. In a pinch, you can make the milkshakes a bit ahead of time, and leave them in the freezer until needed. But not more than an hour or so - I like a thick shake, but you don't want them to set up / freeze too much. Serve in little glasses topped with a few basil flowers if you have them handy.

Makes a bunch of little shakes, or 4 larger shakes.

Prep time: 5 minutes

If you make this recipe, I'd love to see it - tag it #101cookbooks on Instagram!

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Breathtaking. Truly. This is one of the most magnificent culinary photos I've ever seen. Your work is such a pleasure to experience.

Kelly at Inspired Edibles

Spiked milkshakes are one of my favorite things n the planet. I never thought of using buttermilk---does that make it guilt-free? ;)

Sue/the view from great island

What a unique approach. I was trying to play around with Lillet and look forward to this. Any recommendations for the brand of buttermilk? There are so few in the store, and most aren't "real" buttermilk...


These picts are beautiful! You definitely inspire others to make cooking something special.


Oh what a fun drink idea!

Simply Life

P.S is your whole bench-top marble?? Wowza.

Emma Galloway

Stunning top pic Heidi :-) I too have never heard of Lillet... and even though this would be a bit hard to re-create dairy-free I love how you use buttermilk.

Emma Galloway

Lillet is a family favorite. We usually drink it with ice over a few slices of orange. What a creative suggestion!


I have never had lillet. Or even heard of it! "the Lillet brings a subtle booziness and fragrant citrus flavors to the creamy slush."-- wow that sounds great. And now I kinda have to get my hands on this stuff :)

Averie @ Love Veggies and Yoga

i have never heard of "lillet" before but anything with the word "buttermilk" i will eat.

lynn @ the actor's diet

These look fantastic. I've been on a real buttermilk kick lately, especially as an ice cream base and topped over a hot fruit crumble. I like the touch of Lillet! Thanks for the creative recipe!


This is inspired; i love it! Lillet is a favorite of mine and the idea of putting it in a buttermilk shake seems perfect for an elegant treat.


This sounds awesome!

Katrina @ Warm Vanilla Sugar

Oh Heidi, you are starting a big buttermilk shake trend here, I can just feel it! Did you know Southerners crumble cornbread into a glass of buttermilk and drink it? Your Southern friend, Christina ;)


I've never heard of Lillet! Buttermilk in a shake sounds lovely, though. :) I love the metal milkshake cup, makes it so cold!

J3nn (Jenn's Menu and Lifestyle Blog)



I've never heard of Lillet before, but I'm quite intrigued... is there any other mix you would recommend using?


Oh my goodness Heidi! You did it again! What a timeless beverage. We sell Lillet at the bottleshop I work at in Portland. It's called Vino, and it's the sweetest place. If you don't mind, we have a cute little cocktail flier we post for patrons. I would love to include this- giving you full credit of course. How lovely. Thank you! Sarah

Ah! Everything about this is so San Francisco. The lillet, the creme fraiche ice cream (from Bi-Rite?), the basil flowers (from a Mariquita mystery box?). Except you can't drink milkshakes in SF because it's 45 degrees in the summer.


Oh I do love Lillet. Your shakes look elegant and tasty! I'm a fan of the small portion too. This week at my blog is devoted to melons- I'm thinking melon balls soaked in Lillet could be nice?

la domestique

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