The Elmer Orange Shake

Two simple ingredients combine in this orange-flavored Nashville original.

  • Serves

    serves 1

  • Cook

    5 minutes


By Elliston Place Soda Shop

Published on March 9, 2022

The Elmer is a favorite of old-timers at Elliston Place Soda Shop in Nashville, Tennessee, which has operated on the same street corner since 1939. If apocryphal sources are to be believed, the Elmer gets its name from the glue mascot of the same name. While this might seem out-of-place now, Elmer was originally introduced to the world in the 1940s as the husband to the Borden Dairy Company’s far better-known dairy mascot, Elsie. (Borden would later go on to launch their chemicals division with Elmer as the face.)
This tart-forward recipe, passed down orally for most of its history, combines just two ingredients: orange sherbet and buttermilk, blended together into a frosty shake that’s perfect for beating the Tennessee summer heat.


  • 3 cups (10 oz.) orange sherbet
  • 1 cup buttermilk


Step 1

To a blender, add the orange sherbet and buttermilk. Blend until smooth and pour into a tall glass. Serve immediately with a straw.

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