Lillet Blanc is a brand of French aperitif wine. It is a blend of 85% Bordeaux wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle) and 15% macerated liqueurs, mostly citrus liqueurs from the peels of sweet oranges from Spain and Morocco and the peels of bitter green oranges from Haiti. Lillet belongs in a family of aperitif known as quinquina because of the addition of a liqueur of Chinchona bark from Peru which contains quinine. Other fortified wines in this category would be Byrrh and Dubonnet. Lillet is matured in oak casks and while it has been produced since the late 19th century, the current formulation (which contains less sugar and quinine) dates from 1986.

Normally I am not really one for drinking wines, but as I had opened the Lillet for a couple of vintage cocktails, I didn’t want it to go to waste. As it is a little on the sweet side when consumed straight, I added a generous amount of bitters. This has now become one of my favorite things to drink as an apertif before dinner. Cheers!

Lillet & Bitters
4 oz Lillet Blanc
4 dashes Orange Bitters
2 dashes Angostura Bitters
2 dashes Lemon Bitters