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Saturday, September 3, 2011

An Ooh La La Aperitif made from Bordeaux Grapes


With the Bordeaux harvest just around the corner, I’m reminded of my favorite French aperitif, Lillet.  Made from Bordeaux wines and macerated orange liqueurs, Lillet is available in two different flavors (Blonde, or Blanc, is a blend of Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle; the red, or Rouge, comes from Bordeaux’s Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon).  Both versions are matured in oak casks and sell for $20 a bottle.

These delightful aperitifs have been wowing French oenophiles since the late 19th century when it was first produced. In the “Roaring 20’s” Lillet became very famous in France due its Art Deco advertising campaign.  Posters from this period of Lillet are today highly coveted collector’s items. The drink was popularized in the James Bond film Casino Royale when Bond ordered a “Lillet Martini.”  Hollywood later reinforced the appeal of Lillet in the Silence of the Lambs; it was the preferred aperitif of serial killer Hannibal Lecter

We have taken our Bordeaux clients many times to the Lillet factory in where they’ve tried several different concoctions made from Lillet.  By a landslide, the winning combination for the perfect end-of-summer drink is the following mixture:

   1/3  Lillet Blonde
   1/3 Lillet Rouge
   1/3 Tonic
   Ice
   Orange Slice

Combine all above.  Viva la France!

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