Posted in Food & Drink, Liberty University, {Project Recipe}

{Healthy} Copycat Milton Milkshake

Once upon a time, there was a man named Smiley. (As his name implies, he wasn’t big on frowning.)

Smiley owned The Drowsy Poet, a little hole-in-the-wall coffee shop/music venue in the strip mall next to Liberty University in Lynchburg, Va.

The Drowsy Poet
The Drowsy Poet

It was a popular hangout for college kids, especially those who “needed to get some homework done” but would conveniently leave their books in their dorm rooms.

The Drowsy Poet was awesome. It’s now closed (Smiley’s “don’t worry, be happy” management style didn’t work out in his favor, apparently), but the memories I made there as an LU undergrad live on. Late night coffee runs with friends. Reviewing my honors thesis with my favorite journalism professor (shoutout to Amy Bonebright!). Pretending to be good at Guitar Hero. Buying a Milton Milkshake and sneaking it into the dollar theater.

Oh yeah. The Milton Milkshake.


The original recipe was something like this: an espresso shot, hazelnut flavor, cinnamon flavor, whipped cream, and 6 SCOOPS OF VANILLA ICE CREAM. Plus a generous helping of rainbow sprinkles and ground cinnamon swirled throughout and dumped on top.

It took like 15 minutes to make, since Smiley only had 1 normal-sized blender, and everyone and their mom wanted a Milton every SECOND of every DAY (Have a problem with patience? Who, me?).

But once you got your Milton, in a gigantic insulated cup with a straw, it was worth the wait. It was a college kid’s dream. A dream that became my reality quite frequently.

I don’t regret one Milton Milkshake I consumed. Not one. How can you regret delicious creamy goodness, handcrafted by Smiley?

However, now that I’m 26 (i.e. ancient, compared to today’s college students), I can’t fathom consuming 6 scoops of ice cream in one sitting. My lactose intolerance would beat me to death.

The nostalgia hit this morning when I made my post-run protein shake. Totally by accident, it tasted EXACTLY LIKE A MILTON. I’d completely forgotten about Smiley, Drowsy, and the goodness that is Milton. I had to Google “lynchburg smiley famous milkshake” to even remember what the drink was called. But now that I’ve found a healthy alternative, I’ll be indulging in my own version of the Milton much more often. 🙂

Side note: The Drowsy Poet still exists in Lynchburg, inside Givens’ Books on Lakeside Drive. It makes Miltons just as well as Smiley used to, plus you’re surrounded by books. It’s a great place to procrastinate study. 😉

Healthy Milton Milkshake
Healthy Milton Milkshake

Healthy Copycat Milton Milkshake


1/2 cup almond milk

1/2 cup coffee, cooled

1/2 frozen banana

1 tablespoon flaxseed

1 scoop graham cracker OR vanilla protein powder

3 ice cubes


Rainbow sprinkles (optional)


Blend all ingredients, except cinnamon, until smooth.

Pour a little bit of the shake into a tall glass, then sprinkle with cinnamon. Layer shake and cinnamon until glass is full, then dust the top with cinnamon.

Top with rainbow sprinkles for added nostalgia. 🙂



Christ follower. Wife. Mama.

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