Lillet Blanc — The Vesper Cocktail

Lillet Blanc — The Vesper Cocktail

If you have not tried Lillet Blanc, a French aperitif, we strongly recommend you do. Our favorite way to enjoy it is on the rocks with a wedge of lime or lemon.

Lillet is a brand of French aperitif that was established in 1872. An aperitif is an alcoholic beverage that’s served before a meal to stimulate your appetite. But, we also enjoy it on its own as a simple cocktail.

An aperitif can be anything from a liqueur to a dry Champagne or a fortified wine. Lillet is a fortified wine—or more specifically a blend of wines that is married with orange peels, a blend of fruit liqueurs and quinine, and then aged in French oak barrels. What you end up with is a light, refreshing, fruity wine that’s served chilled.

Lillet Blanc is a medium color white wine, made from Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon grapes. The nose is of honey and orange and a hint of mint. While the nose may lead you to expect a sweet dessert wine, in fact, Lillet Blanc leads with a taste of firm bitterness, which suddenly diminishes, leaving a lingering trace of orange, honey, and herbaceousness on the palate.

If you want to get more elaborate, there are several delicious cocktail recipes that use Lillet as an ingredient, a few that include gin. One of our favorites is The Vesper.

The Vesper
Yields 1 cocktail

1 ounce Lillet Blanc
3 ounces gin
1 ounce vodka
dash orange bitters

In a mixing glass with ice, stir together the Lillet, gin, vodka, with a dash of orange bitters. Give the mixture a good, long stir in order to chill the liquid—30 to 60 swirls with a spoon.

Strain the liquid into a martini glass and garnish with a lemon peel (zest only), giving it a good twist before you add it to the glass in order to spray the citrus oils on top.


Comments are closed.