The Elmer Orange Shake

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

byElliston Place Soda Shop| PUBLISHED Mar 9, 2022 10:15 PM
The Elmer Orange Shake
Photography by Emily Dorio
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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.

Yield: serves 1

Time: 5 minutes

Ingredients

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

Instructions

  • 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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