Sunday, August 21, 2011


    photo, Diane Carnevale 

Lillet is a delicious French apéritif wine made with a blend of white wines and liqueurs made from Spanish and Moroccan orange peels. It's known as a tonic wine because it also includes a liqueur made of Peruvian Chinchona bark which contains quinine (you know, the stuff used to treat malaria). Apparently that is how the apéritif developed, as a way to administer bitter tasting quinine. Sweet herbaceous drinks masked the nasty quinine flavor. And here's another fascinating fact — James Bond orders a martini made with Lillet and called the drink a Vesper after one of his GFs in Ian Fleming's 1953 novel Casino Royale. How cool is that? We like Lillet on ice with an orange peel, and sometimes with a splash of club soda. It's amazingly refreshing on a hot summer day, the likes of which are waning, so go and get some Lillet before the summer is over. As it states right there on the label, "serve well chilled."

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