Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Buvare: Lillet Blanc

On warm summer nights dining al fresco or hosting sunset drinks, I turn to one of the most mysterious and alluring liquers I've had in my day (as well as one of my favorite to date) - the lush and indulgent Lillet Blanc. A French wine-based apertif produced in Bordeaux since 1872, its 17% alchohol rating often lends it comparisons to Vermouth. On the tongue it is complexly floral and citrusy, with a honeyed texture, but not overwhelmingly sweet. Lillet is so elegantly balanced though that it can be enjoyed all on its own, over ice with a splash of soda and an orange slice, but also pairs nicely with gin and vodka. I take mine straight on the rocks with a clementine wheel. Lillet can sometimes be a challenge to find, but most high-end liquor stores and wine merchants carry it in the apertif section, I have also seen it on the curated rack at Gelson's. Pinkies up, breathe the aromatic nose, sip and enjoy.

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