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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Heidi, I was so glad to find this post, as someone brought us a bottle of Lillet, which I had never heard of. I'll have to explore some of your options!

Stephanie, The Recipe Renovator

I'm so glad that the internet awlols free info like this!


Looks delicious, love the photos... The shake is something am looking forward to wake up to :)


What gorgeous photo's and a great drink as well.!! Stuart

Stuart Rubenstein

Heidi- My husband is the "Martini Master" around these parts and he swears that Lillet is the Only thing that should be added to a Gin Martini. (oh, plus an olive & ice)


love you blog...I am always inspired by your posts. Thanks for introducing me to Lillet...I had never heard of it. I was searching for a great peach recipe and happened upon this: I haven't had a chance to try it...but it sounded like an interesting way to incorporate lillet!


We made these last night and served to friends in little glasses as suggested, along with a simple plum cake--like a lillet milkshake sidekick to the dessert. Fantastic!


Hey Heidi. Hello from Berkeley. I have an overabundance of ice cream from making it all summer. So it's time for milkshakes! Love the idea of buttermilk + Lillet. My favorite way to enjoy Lillet is over ice with a twist of lemon. Or in a pasta sauce. Here's a recipe I did this time last summer: i hope to cross paths with you someday! Best, Phyllis

phyllis grant

Nice! I'm down for infusing anything with a little extra booze. Will have to give this one a try.

Cocktail Enthusiast

Heidi, I love the idea of the buttermilk shakes with Lillet. I will be making them this weekend for a Labor Day BBQ.

Nik S

I really love the idea and for sure it will be another reason for my friends to flock my house. I will definitely try this!

Work in a Restaurant

have you tried buttermilk paancakes with lillet? they are amazing!!!!!


Made these tonight to celebrate the end of summer and am wishing I'd tried it earlier in the season. Definitely something to try and enjoy. Great receipe


If I were not severely allergic to oranges, I would be all over this recipe. However, coming from the South and being the 'next generation' we're always searching for something to do with the extra buttermilk that we buy for my father when he is over for meals. He will put anything in it and even drink it straight. Of course, we've never cared too much for it except in recipes. I'm so glad I found this, because I'm definitely going to play with this idea and maybe broaden my own appreciation for different flavors! :)


I was so excited to see this post! I had never heard of Lillet until 2 years ago or so when I saw a recipe for Lillet marshmallows in Gourmet--I think a December issue. (So there's an idea for you--I bet it's online but if not I have it somewhere as I am not throwing out any issues now that it's been cancelled!). I never had it until I went to a block party this year for Bastille day; I tried both red and white Lillet (plain, on the rocks) and I really liked it! I think of it as a bit like vermouth or port (as a fortified wine)--is that right? I think those tend to keep longer once opened than regular wine--do you happen to know how quickly you need to work through your bottle?


My friend used Lillet to make marshmallows around the holidays. It was a delicious surprise.


Loooove Lillet, my favorite aperitif. Over ice, with a thin slice or two of granny smith apple!


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