Although I mentioned this beverage in my “girly french inspired evening” post, I wanted to dedicate an entire post about it in the wine section. It is more than deserving of it’s own post because it is AHHHMAZING.
Lillet (pronounced ”le lay”) is a french wine blend composed of 85% Bordeaux wines and 15% citrus liquors. It’s referred to as a aperitif wine because it was traditionally a wine served before the meal in order to kick start your appetite. It’s to be served very cold, usually on ice, and with a slice of orange or lime. As you can tell from my photo above, I went the orange route. Man oh man was it good! OOOOO la la.
Americans tend to not drink it straight up and instead use it as a base for cocktails, most commonly martinis. This must be the reason why I’ve never heard of it as I’m not a mixed drink kind of girl. Other than wine, I enjoy the occasional dirty martini but that’s about the extent of my alcohol ensemble.
Lillet is also not stocked with other french wines and is stocked with liquors instead. So it’s been under my nose the entire time, and I never knew. Blaspheme! Thank goodness for my fabulously cultured friend Lisa in NYC. Otherwise, I never would have known about it.
Lillet comes in two styles:
• Lillet Blanc (pictured): Which is made from Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle + citrus liquors. It is also referred to as “Kina Lillet”.
• Lillet Rouge: Which is made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon + citrus liquors. This blend is supposedly created specifically for the U.S. market.
Although Lillet has been around since the late 1800’s, the current incarnation of it has only been around since the late 1980’s; Mostly comprised of a lower sugar content than from what it was originally.
I had it straight up, but I have posted the most infamous martini made with it: The James Bond martini aptly named “The Vesper Martini” from the movie Casino Royal.
If you have access to this beautiful, elegant and citrusy Bordeaux wine liquor, I would invite you to try it. I can’t imagine a more wonderful refresher for a summer’s evening. It can also be used in combination with club soda for a wonderful spritzer.
The James Bond “Vesper” Martini:
• 3 measures of Gordon’s Gin
• 1 measure of Vodka
• 1/2 measure Lillet Blanc
• Lemon peel for garnish