Happy Friday! I hope you’ve had a wonderful week. No matter what state-of-mind you’re in at the end of the week, I hope you’re ready for a cocktail. Some of the finest spirits were created in France, among them cognac, Armagnac, calvados, St. Germain, Benedictine, absinthe, chartreuse, and today’s featured aperitif: Lillet.
I love Lillet in cocktails (such as the Corpse Reviver #2) but I hadn’t tried it on its own until last week at Le Pigeon in Portland. Invented in 1872, the spirit hails from the small village of Pondesac, south of Bordeaux, and is a mixture of 85 percent Bordeaux wine, 15 percent citrus liqueurs and a touch of quinine liqueur.
It’s absolutely perfect served up (chilled) or over ice, with a twist or orange. It’s also delicious in cocktails, like today’s featured recipe: Schiller’s Negroni. It’s not quite French, I’ll admit, as the recipe comes from Schiller’s Liquor Bar in NYC. All the same, it puts a French spin on the classic Italian cocktail, and it’s absolutely perfect for summer.
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One part French sweet vermouth, one part gin, one part Lillet and a twist of orange are all you need for this easy aperitif. Schiller’s recommends serving the cocktail up, but it’s equally delicious over ice.
- 1 ounce gin
- 1 ounce Lillet
- 1 ounce sweet red vermouth
- 1 orange twist, to garnish
- Add ice to a shaker and pour in all ingredients.
- Using a bar spoon, stir 40 to 45 revolutions or until thoroughly chilled.
- Strain into a martini glass or over ice into a rocks glass. Garnish with orange twist.