The third Thursday of May is national Aperitif Day, and Lillet, the quintessential aperitif from Bordeaux, has offered Pursuitist a few of its favorite recipes with which to celebrate the custom and spirit of the traditional French aperitif hour.

A long-standing pre-dinner tradition practiced by Europe’s most fashionable elite, Lillet has been sipped by queens, immortalized by Parisian artists and served by history’s most famous ladies of society. Since 1872, the apéritif has become the universal symbol for elegant entertaining.

Lillet is a blend of select wines from Bordeaux (85%) and a secret-recipe citrus liqueur (15%) made with sweet orange peels from Spain and bitter orange peels from Haiti in the its cellar. Currently available in three varieties, Lillet Blanc, Lillet Rouge, and Lillet Rosé, it is considered the ultimate summer aperitif and used as a stand-out ingredient in multiple craft cocktails. Lillet is best served over ice. All three expressions have an ABV of 17% and an suggested retail price of $20, making it an ideal choice for a low-proof cocktail.

The company Lillet Frères was established in 1872 by wine merchants Paul and Raymond Lillet in Podensac, France in the Bordeaux Region. Today every stage of production takes place at the Lillet distillery and has remained consistent throughout the years, evolving only slightly to reflect oenological advancements and technical improvements. The secret ingredients are unchanged and the proprietary recipe is closely guarded by the cellar master, ensuring the brand’s iconic status as the Quintessential Aperitif of Bordeaux.

Lillet has provided us with the following recipes:

L’Elephant Rosé

L’Elephant Rosé
Ingredients:
3 Parts Lillet Rosé
.75 Parts peach liqueur
1.5 Parts fresh squeezed grapefruit
Instructions: Shake ingredients with ice and fine strain into a chilled coup glass. Garnish with a spring of fresh thyme.

Lillet's Blushing Manhattan

Lillet’s Blushing Manhattan
Ingredients:
2 Parts Lillet Rosé
1 Part Hudson New York Corn Whiskey
.5 Part simple syrup
2 Dashes Grapefruit Bitters
Instructions: Combine ingredients in a mixing glass and stir to chill and dilute. Pour into a chilled cocktail class and garnish with a grapefruit peel.

Celebrate National Aperitif Day with Cocktails by Lillet

Celebrate National Aperitif Day with Cocktails by Lillet

Images Courtesy of Lillet