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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My thoughts support most of the comments already made. I love the photographs too. Very nice blog.

Kate Abbott

Super delicious and the basil flower add such elegant beauty to the glass!

Sutapa Ghosh

It is just the right time for milkshake, the weather is hot. It is easy and quick, so nice. Just thinking to use other wine and see how it turn out. :)

love cooking

I also love Lillet! I usually drink it on the rocks with lime but have also been making cocktails with it all summer. My current favorite is homemade Tayberry Liqueur, Lillet blanc, a splash of St Germain, and a squeeze of lime... delicate, summery, and floral.


As mentioned in a previous comment, Lillet is used in a martini called the Vesper. James Bond named this in memory of Vesper Lynd; the female lead in Casino Royal. Recipe: Three measures of 90 proof Gordon's gin, one of 100 proof vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel.


I’m nonetheless learning from you, but I’m improving myself. I certainly love reading every part that is written in your blog.Preserve the tales coming. I cherished it!

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Hi Heidi, I love your site and your cookbooks. I have been making so many of the recipes from your Super natural every day cookbook and my family and I have loved every one of them. I have a question regarding wholewheat pastry flour and white wholewheat flour. I live in Australia and we have unbleached wholewheat flour and wholewheat stoneground flour. Could you tell me the protein % of your flours so that I can use the equivalent here. Thanks so much for such inspirational and delicious food and photography. Wendy :) X


Our son introduced us to a cocktail that I'm partial to. It's 1.5 oz gin, .5 oz Lillet, .5 oz lemon juice (I prefer Meyer), .5 oz simple syrup, 2-3 drops of citrus bitters. It's like Lillet with lemonade - but better! Love this recipe! Love buttermilk! Thanks!

Donna Smith-Harrison

I pour 3/4 cup of Lillet and 1/4 cup of sparkling water or soda over a bunch of sliced peaches (four big peaches maybe) that I've mixed with a couple of tablespoons of powdered sugar and 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice and a dozen torn mint leaves. Heavenly summer dessert. Thanks for this great idea Heidi!

Katherine Deumling (Cook With What You Have)

Fantastic recipe! Lillet also works really well in marshmallows - works perfectly as a little petit-four at the end of a nice meal. Who says marshmallows are just for kids!!?

Adam Levy

I also bought some to make marshamallows. This will be yummy if it ever warms up in Marin. Marta, you can probably thin some yogurt with milk or cream and substitute it for the buttermilk. or if you have kefir available, that should work too.


These are beautiful! I love buttermilk recipes. Off to the store to buy some right now to make these shakes. Thanks!


Oh my! I don't know this wine but i want to look for it to try this recipe


this looked so good that i bought a bottle of lillet on my bike ride home from work today! HS: That Basmati rice on your site looks great Sasha :)


These photos are stunning!

Jenné @ Sweet Potato Soul

Beautiful and elegant.


This photo is just too lovely for words. HS: Thanks L.


I've never even heard of Lillet until now, but I need it in my life, and and forever. and ever. Amen. HS: You wont be sorry Bev.

Bev Weidner

Heidi, I love how you take an ingredient that is quite popular elsewhere in the world and bring it to center stage for your readers! Merci! Your post reminded me I have a bottle of Lillet, and I am enjoying an (early) afternoon cocktail as I write! I purchased the apéritif to make Lillet Marshmallows last Easter - as a grown-up alternative to all those chocolate eggs and jelly beans! They were a hit (recipe on epicurious site). I use it on occasion to replace white wine in recipes: in cold cantaloupe soup, atop fresh fruit salads, and - in a great stroke of inspiration - once I added Lillet to sautéed onions and garlic, and steamed fresh mussels in the mixture. They were excellent.

Primordial Soup

What a lovely way to incorporate Lillet into a nice little summer beverage... your imagery is perfect, as well.


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