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Solid Bond

A cocktail that’s licensed to thrill


With its pedigree as one of the spirits that made the Roaring 20s roar, there’s something effortlessly chic about Lillet Blanc ($15.95, 322297). The brand of French aperitif wine is a blend of 85 percent Bordeaux grapes, including Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle for the Blanc version (Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon for the Rouge version) and 15 percent macerated liqueurs, aged in oak casks. It’s considered an aperitif because it uses the liqueur of Chinchona bark from Peru that contains quinine, the substance that gives tonic water its distinctive taste.

It’s perhaps this association with everything lavish and ritzy that adds to its overwhelming sophistication. Which explains why, in the hit novel and film Casino Royale, secret agent James Bond uses Lillet in a cocktail he names after his romantic target, Vesper Lynd. The Vesper is a simple, elegant drink that’s a different choice for Bond, but equally delicious as his classic vodka martini — shaken, not stirred. Perfect for swanky dinner parties or for sipping during a night out on the town, you can enjoy this cocktail too. Simply find a top quality vodka (from grain instead of potatoes, if you want to split hairs like Bond’s creator Ian Fleming) and remember to serve the finished martini well chilled, ideally between 6 - 8°C.

The Vesper

Ingredients
1.5 oz Gordon’s Dry Gin
.5 oz Vodka
.25 oz Lillet
lemon peel

Method
In a cocktail shaker filled with ice, mix the gin, vodka and Lillet. Shake until ice-cold. Pour into a cocktail glass and garnish with a slice of lemon peel.

 

Shake Up

Two other stylish cocktails inspired by Lillet



Lillet Rouge Cup
5 oz  Lillet Rouge
        Lemonade
        Red and black fruit
        Lime, orange, pink grapefruit, lemon
        Cubed or crushed ice

In a pitcher, place sliced fruit and citrus and ice. Add Lillet Rouge and top with lemonade. Serve in wine goblets.

Lillet Berry
2 oz  Lillet Blanc
4 oz. Tonic Water
slice  cucumber
sprig  mint
strawberry

Pour chilled Lillet Blanc and tonic water into a glass. Garnish with the slice of cucumber, a spring of mint and a strawberry.



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