Spring is here and with it comes my favorite warmer weather ritual: sipping a small aperitif outdoors before dinner. Of the many things that are nice to sip, I especially love Lillet for its light, citrusy bittersweetness. I like it simple, just served over ice with a slice of orange and a spring of mint or basil, if I happen to have it. As the evenings warm up, look for me sitting among the blossoms and bumblebees, a glass of Lillet in hand. Ah, yes!
Lillet is a French wine-based aperitif that comes in red, rosè, and white variations. It is a blend of wines from the Bordeaux region with the addition of citrus liquors made from the peels of sweet and bitter oranges. It also has Cinchona, a bark from Peru that contains quinine. The addition of liquor makes Lillet a fortified wine, coming in at 17% alcohol.
While I like to sip my Lillet over ice, it is also a popular addition to cocktails such as the Casino Royale
, Lillet Libertè
, and our very own Lady Mary
. I'm only familiar with the white version (Lillet Blanc) but am interested to try the red (Lillet Rouge) and rosè versions as well. I hope it's a long, warm summer!
(Image: Dana Velden)