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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I've never worked with Lillet before - I am excited to try!!

girl in the pink

These are fantastic! I've never tried Lillet, but from what I researched (Yes, I looked it up) it sounds delicious!


Wow, those are so beautiful and I can just imagine they taste divine!


One of my favorites is a corpse reviver #2- gin, lillet, grand marnier or cointreau, maraschino cherry, and lemon juice. boozy but delicious!


Once I get the half-empty bottle of Lillet up from my basement, I'll have to try your recipe. I wonder if it will go with the culinary-grade Lavendar I have in storage -ha! Maybe just a light touch will do.

Donna A.

The Wheesky: 1 part Lillet, 2 parts Irish whiskey, ice, lemon. It's truly delightful.


Oh goodness! I seriously want to spend summer at your house! I've often thought about picking up a bottle of Lillet. Makes me think of James Bond :) Now I think I may have to!

Dina Avila

Lillet is one of the ingredients included in the James Bond "shaken, not stirred" vodka martini from "Casion Royale".. My husband and I found this out when we went through an all things Bond phase. For a recipe, try but only if you like martinis.


I agree that this is inspired! I make shakes and smoothies all the time, and every time I open the fridge, I think about trying buttermilk in them, but had not yet. Thanks, this is just the impetus I need. And I, also, had never heard of Lillet, but I will certainly be looking for it. Thanks so much.


Marta, you can make sour milk using a cup of milk and about a tablespoon of fresh lemon juice or vinegar. I usually take the chill off the milk by microwaving the milk for about 30 seconds or so before I add the lemon juice. It seems to sour the milk more quickly. Not sure if It'll work, but it's worth a shot!


Hi, Heidi, I live in Barcelona. Buttermilk is so hard to find here, so I was wondering if there is anything I can use as a substitute that will work not only in this recipe but also in other recipes such as cakes. Could you please help me? Thanks a lot!


I've never heard of Lillet before, but this sounds like a great twist on a classic Indian buttermilk drink called Lassi :) Lassi is usually sweetened with mango or sugar + Indian spices or salt, but I wonder what it would taste like with the flavors you have in the recipe above. Can't wait to try this!

Anjali Shah @ The Picky Eater

Beautiful pictures and recipe. You made me very curious about Lillet so I searched for it on the Web. This drink sounds perfect for warm temperatures : fruity (mostly oranges), light with a touch of bitterness. I'll see if it's available in Quebec. Thank you once again for sharing!

Julie Lapointe - La Datcha

I would like to put these milkshakes on speed dial. Lillet is such a nice touch! On of my most favorite cocktails ever is Lillet-based. I don't have the exact proportions, but it is about 2-3 ounces Lillet, 1/2 to 1 ounce Cynar, and a strip of orange zest that you have put up to a lit match so that the little caramelized drops of citrus oil drop into the top of the drink. I think Lillet also has good french toast batter potential. Thanks for the awesome post!


It sounds like such a weird combination, but it looks heavenly and I do like Lillet ...well you know I will have to try this!

black eyed susans kitchen

Oh my ...! Not having tried Lillet before (nor a buttermilk shake), this looks like the perect combination to ease myself into both. Love the herbal addition, too.


Like many of the others, I have never heard of Lillet. But I'm wondering if Grand Marnier would work in its place.


Hi Heidi, I have not heard of Lillet before. I did a search for you so please check out this website. :-) They give a little history lesson with some recipes. I love your website and visit often.


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