Want to toast the end of the summer in style? How about mixing yourself up a cool, elegant Lillet Sin?
Despite its naughty name, the Lillet Sin is actually a pretty virtuous drink. A refreshing concoction made with the silky smooth orange-flavored aperitif Lillet Blanc as a base, the recipe also calls for fresh ginger, lime, sugar, and mint, all topped up and cooled off with ice and sparkling water.
Earlier this month I was staying at a house with a garden full of mint. It was late afternoon, and I looking for something refreshing but not too boozy to serve, and found this drink on the Lillet website. The recipe seemed to be translated from the French a little imprecisely (I took "1 tspn sugar cane" to mean 1 tsp cane sugar, etc.), so there was a some minor guesswork involved in the process. In any case it turned out to be a keeper: very subtle and nuanced, with a nice little kick of spice from the ginger (I gave it all a good muddle first).
Lillet Sin (adapted from the Lillet Website)
makes one drink
2 ounces Lillet blanc (white Lillet)
4 ice cubes
2 tbs crushed ice (I omitted this)
3 or 4 fresh mint leaves
1 wedge lime
1 thin slice fresh ginger
1 tsp "sugar cane" (I used plain granulated sugar)
Tonic water or Perrier (I used club soda - and was actually wondering if that was what was meant by "tonic water.")
Muddle the ginger and lime together with the sugar in a tall glass. Add the Lillet and ice, and top up with club soda. Garnish with a sprig of mint.
What are you drinking during these last days of summer?
Nora Maynard is a longtime home mixologist and an occasional instructor at NYC's Astor Center. She is a contributor to The Business of Food: Encyclopedia of the Food and Drink Industries and is the recipient of the American Egg Board Fellowship in culinary writing at the Writers' Colony at Dairy Hollow. She previously covered food and drink in film at The Kitchn in her weekly column, The Celluloid Pantry.
(Images: Nora Maynard)