“SERVIR TRÈS FRAIS” — Serve very fresh (over ice, chilled, soon after opening)
Drink of the summer. Tastes like you are drinking a lovely sunrise on a warm summer morning. Deeply & passionately in love with you, Lillet. La Vie en Rose is playing through my computer speakers as I am accompanied by rosé Lillet over ice with a lemon twist. This French apéritif from Bordeaux started in 1872. The Lillet website, describes it’s creation beginning with the descendants of Jean Lillet, who ultimately founded Maison Lillet in a small village of Podensac.
- Apéritif: An apéritif is an alcoholic drink typically consumed before a meal to stimulate the appetite
- Digestif: Served after a meal to aid digestion
- Bordeaux: Southwestern region of France, known for winemaking and art musuems
- Grape varietals from Bordeaux include Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Malbec & more
How is it made?
Lillet is a blend of Bordeaux wine varietals and macerated fruits. Fruit maceration is done slow and cold and are macerated into alcohol. After weeks of maceration, fruit pressing extracts the aromatic richness.
Next step in the process, vinage. Vinage is the fortification or mixing of the fruit maceration and wine. Lillet Rouge and Lillet Blanc are aged for months in oak barrels and Lillet Rosé is bottled directly.
“Sweet oranges from Turkey, Spain or Morocco, bitter oranges from Haiti, quinine from South America… Every year, we carefully select the best fruits, fruit peels and barks for their freshness and aromatic richness” – Lillet website
How to enjoy it!
Lillet is a gorgeous, fresh and crisp liqueur. It has the lightness and depth of a wine, but a sweetness and punch of a liqueur. The Lillet Rosé has a strong nose of peaches, stone fruit and honey suckle. The flavors of the Lillet Rosé over ice with lemon peel has a strong beginning of melon, cantaloupe and honeydew, and finishes with crisp green pear and tangerine.
- Drink this over ice! I know that sounds funky because it is wine, but this is a drink it’s own cocktail. The flavors are enhanced by the colder temperature
- A citrus peel! At Figaro Bistrot in Los Feliz, Lillet Blanc was also served with a lemon peel. Don’t forget to rub the peel along the rim for the finishing touch
- As an apèrtif, you can drink this before your meal. As the perfect summer drink, enjoy with a classic french meal. Coq au Vin (marinated chicken in red wine), a salmon crêpe, brie & prosciutto baguette sandwich or as I chose to enjoy it, with escargot. Heart eyes.
Lillet is a effortlessly smooth drink bursting with flavors and history. Found in the liqueur section of the liquor store. I found it at Cap n’ Cork on Hillhurst and Prospect, never forgetting those cross streets as my mother and I argued for ten blocks about what the street corner was. Hillhurst and Prospect, I will never forget the location of a liquor store in Los Angeles, how useful?
Have you tried Lillet? It’s a mid-summer nights dream, you’ll thank me later.