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JAZ

Lillet

152 posts in this topic

Old Lillet is based on Sauternes?!  :blink:

I was referring to the fact that old Lillet has two formulas (three once they came up with Lillet Dry). As eje notes above, Continental Lillet had two varieties: "Kina Lillet" and "Sauternes Lillet." I was merely suggesting that something like Noilly Ambre (which appears to use a botrytised wine stock, from the taste) might be similar to this old "Sauternes Lillet."

That is very interesting, I'd never heard of such. Was Sauternes Lillet meant to be a digestif/dessert or was it dry enough to be an aperitif? Some Sauternes are not that sweet, not too much more than current Lillet, so I guess it's concievable.

Edit: Spelling


Edited by thirtyoneknots (log)

Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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If I can't find any Lillet. What can I use as an substitute?

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For Lillet Blanc? Dry vermouth (Noilly works best) plus orange bitters (50% Regans/50% Fees, or better still all Angostura) does a reasonable facsimile IMO.


Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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I never imagined there were so many ways to pronounce one simple word; where else but eGullet? But thanks for this thread. Now I know we weren't making some hideous mess out of the word when we were in Provence recently, since several posters have confirmed that indeed it isn't a common aperitif in bars or cafes in France. My husband speaks pretty good French, but all the waiters were confounded when he ordered it. We gave up and instead got into drinking Porto, chilled, and then into Martini Rosso over ice with a slice of orange; both drinks have now become my new favorite warm-weather starters.

I was introduced to Lillet by a friend who likes to add a splash of lemon juice and a twist of same. My husband likes to make a drink called a Corpse Reviver, which uses equal parts of gin, triple sec, Lillet Blonde and lemon juice. The recipe (from Gary Regan's Mixology) also calls for a drop of absinthe. We subbed Pastis; he likes more anise flavor, I like less. It's a very fun drink, altho the revival potential is lost on me---but then, I'm still alive. Absinthe, however, according to today's NYT, has been revived.

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I know I've shared this on other threads but I have to put in the 20th Century. The Violet Hour version, on the upcoming winter menu. I know that lilet is a summer thing but the unexpected twist gives it a rich feeling.

1.5 oz Plymouth

.75 oz Lillet Blond

.75 oz lemon juice

.75 oz creme de cacoa white

Shake serve up. No garnish.

Like art deco in a glass...

Toby

spelin perly


Edited by Alchemist (log)

A DUSTY SHAKER LEADS TO A THIRSTY LIFE

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If I can't find any Lillet. What can I use as an substitute?

I'd guess that the Dubonnet Gold might make a good substitute, though I don't know this from experience. Maybe some other members have some thoughts on it?


Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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No, Dubonnet Blanc, at least what we get in the US, isn't very close to Lillet Blanc.

Lillet is sweeter and has the whole orange thing going on.

Dubonnet Blanc, to my taste, is more like a less herbaceous Noilly Prat Dry.

It might make a better "blanc" canvas to start with than Dry Vermouth, however.

Add a little more sugar and a touch of bitter orange tincture and you could probably get close to Lillet.


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Because of a topic about meyer lemons, I was inspired to pick up a bottle of Lillet (blanc). From that topic, I have one cocktail to make. I'll scan through this one for others.

But I have a question.. How long will this last, and how should I store it?? (room temp or the fridge??)


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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Refrigerate it. I didn't for quite a while, and when I started, I definitely noticed a difference in the flavor. I use a lot of it, so I don't worry about its shelf life. A couple of months is fine.

As for recipes, try the Corpse Reviver #2.


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
eG Ethics signatory
Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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Refrigerate it. I didn't for quite a while, and when I started, I definitely noticed a difference in the flavor. I use a lot of it, so I don't worry about its shelf life. A couple of months is fine.

As for recipes, try the Corpse Reviver #2.

Thanks, Janet.

I'm going to whip up an "After School Special" right now since I now posses all the ingredients. (gonna make it with Plymouth gin, as that's what I have)


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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I try to keep all my vermouths and aromatized wines (red and white) in the fridge. I also HIGHLY recommend the use of an inert gas wine preserver like Private Preserve. It works extremely well. Between that and the fridge, you'll find your vermouths and such will keep very nearly indefinitely with little decline in quality.

Cheers,

Mike


Cheers,

Mike

"The problem with the world is that everyone is a few drinks behind."

- Bogart

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I try to keep all my vermouths and aromatized wines (red and white) in the fridge.  I also HIGHLY recommend the use of an inert gas wine preserver like Private Preserve.  It works extremely well.  Between that and the fridge, you'll find your vermouths and such will keep very nearly indefinitely with little decline in quality.

Indeed. I'd read an opinion piece somewhere (don't recall the source) that vermouth is so widely reviled among the uninitiated because it's stored improperly, seriously compromising flavor. cf. one-liners and other historical anecdotes involving some form of avoiding vermouth's presence in, say, a martini while still alluding to its presence in the formula.


David aka "DCP"

Amateur protein denaturer, Maillard reaction experimenter, & gourmand-at-large

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Lately I've been on a Lillet (Blond) kick. I've been using it for quite some time in a martini-like drink with mandarin-flavored vodka (Absolut Mandarin is good; Hangar One Madarin Blossom is sublime). Having run out of the Hangar One, I cast around for other ideas and stumbled across the Vesper from Paul Harrington's book (half gin/half vodka plus a splash of the Lillet). Very nice drink.

I've since done a bit of experimentation, and my latest drink is this one: After School Special -- an original so far as I know.

Anyone else have any ideas for Lillet? And how about the Lillet Rouge? I've never tried it.

Janet,

Tell me a little more about this cocktail with the mandarin vodka and the Liellet Blanc. What ratios are you using? You say it's like a martini. Does that mean mandarin vodka instead of gin and the Lillet (a small amount) instead of the white/dry vermouth? Or is there a different ratio? (maybe more Lilltet). Is there anything else??


Jeff Meeker, aka "jsmeeker"
jmeeker@eGullet.org

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This thread has inspired me to buy another bottle of Lillet. It is great stuff. I originally bought it when I wanted to make a Corpse Reviver #2 which immediately became a favorite cocktail. I've made some other great cocktails with it and have enjoyed it straight, but oddly, I have yet to try a Vesper, but I have feeling there is one in this weekend's cocktail agenda.

One curious note: My old bottle had a cork stopper top and a plastic badge or seal glued onto the front of the bottle at the base of the neck. The new bottle has a screw cap and only embossed glass where the plastic badge used to be. I hope nothing else has been changed! :sad:


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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This thread has inspired me to buy another bottle of Lillet.  It is great stuff.  I originally bought it when I wanted to make a Corpse Reviver #2 which immediately became a favorite cocktail.  I've made some other great cocktails with it and have enjoyed it straight, but oddly, I have yet to try a Vesper, but I have feeling there is one in this weekend's cocktail agenda.

One curious note:  My old bottle had a cork stopper top and a plastic badge or seal glued onto the front of the bottle at the base of the neck.  The new bottle has a screw cap and only embossed glass where the plastic badge used to be.  I hope nothing else has been changed!  :sad:

So far as I could ever tell, it didn't, just cheaper packaging.


Andy Arrington

Journeyman Drinksmith

Twitter--@LoneStarBarman

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Lately I've been on a Lillet (Blond) kick. I've been using it for quite some time in a martini-like drink with mandarin-flavored vodka (Absolut Mandarin is good; Hangar One Madarin Blossom is sublime). Having run out of the Hangar One, I cast around for other ideas and stumbled across the Vesper from Paul Harrington's book (half gin/half vodka plus a splash of the Lillet). Very nice drink.

Janet,

Tell me a little more about this cocktail with the mandarin vodka and the Liellet Blanc. What ratios are you using? You say it's like a martini. Does that mean mandarin vodka instead of gin and the Lillet (a small amount) instead of the white/dry vermouth? Or is there a different ratio? (maybe more Lilltet). Is there anything else??

Jeff, I'm sorry I didn't see this before now. At the time I wrote that (Jeez -- almost 5 years ago!) I'd recently tried a drink at a local bar that was a variation on the Vesper -- with Absolut Mandarin substituted for the regular vodka. Then someone gave me a bottle of the Hangar One Mandarin Blossom, so I was playing around with it. But I haven't made it since. As I recall, I used about a 3:1 mandarin vodka to Lillet ratio, and probably added some orange bitters, if I had them back then.

However, I got a bunch of tangerines and have been making a gin-based drink that's similar. A friend named it the Tableau, which seems right to me, so that's what I'm calling it.

The Tableau

2 oz. gin

1 oz. Lillet

.25 oz. fresh tangerine juice

dash orange bitters


Janet A. Zimmerman, aka "JAZ"
Manager
jzimmerman@eGullet.org
eG Ethics signatory
Author, The Healthy Pressure Cooker Cookbook and All About Cooking for Two

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This thread has inspired me to buy another bottle of Lillet.  It is great stuff.  I originally bought it when I wanted to make a Corpse Reviver #2 which immediately became a favorite cocktail.  I've made some other great cocktails with it and have enjoyed it straight, but oddly, I have yet to try a Vesper, but I have feeling there is one in this weekend's cocktail agenda.
A bit of a non sequitur, but one tip when making a Vesper from yours truly (I've been working on a Kina Lillet mockup for a little while): Throw in a dash of aromatic bitters. Kina is both slightly more bitter and slightly warm-spicier than Lillet Blond, and it really makes a difference in this cocktail.
One curious note:  My old bottle had a cork stopper top and a plastic badge or seal glued onto the front of the bottle at the base of the neck.  The new bottle has a screw cap and only embossed glass where the plastic badge used to be.  I hope nothing else has been changed!  :sad:

I've got those two types of bottles as well, and I haven't noticed a difference. It's true that they're reformulating all kinds of things now, but I don't think that trend has hit Lillet just yet (fingers crossed... ;) )

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"

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A bit of a non sequitur, but one tip when making a Vesper from yours truly (I've been working on a Kina Lillet mockup for a little while): Throw in a dash of aromatic bitters. Kina is both slightly more bitter and slightly warm-spicier than Lillet Blond, and it really makes a difference in this cocktail.

Thanks, Mayur. I'll definitely try that next time. It makes perfect sense.


Mike

"The mixing of whiskey, bitters, and sugar represents a turning point, as decisive for American drinking habits as the discovery of three-point perspective was for Renaissance painting." -- William Grimes

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As noted here, it appears my fave Kina Lillet substitute will not be back in the US for a while.

Looking for ideas for creating a Cocchi Americano/Kina Lillet replica.

Things I note:

A relatively round wine base which is not fruity, per se, but not austere. Quinine. Orange. Cinnamon.

Most recently, I was making a drink with Luxardo Maraschino and a generous dash of Angostura and noted similarities, making me suspect there may be bitter almonds or almond hulls in there (not uncommon in very old vermouth recipes).

Other thoughts?


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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As noted here, it appears my fave Kina Lillet substitute will not be back in the US for a while.

Looking for ideas for creating a Cocchi Americano/Kina Lillet replica.

Things I note:

A relatively round wine base which is not fruity, per se, but not austere.  Quinine.  Orange.  Cinnamon.

Most recently, I was making a drink with Luxardo Maraschino and a generous dash of Angostura and noted similarities, making me suspect there may be bitter almonds or almond hulls in there (not uncommon in very old vermouth recipes).

Other thoughts?

Quinine, orange, cinnamon...definitely. But, I just took a quick sip from my open bottle of Cocchi and couldn't really detect any almond note.

This doesn't exactly help out with long term supply issues, since apparently it's not being produced anymore, but I just spotted two bottles of the Duckhorn King Eider vermouth on the shelf at a local wine shop. I haven't tried it yet, but the descriptions I'm reading sound a lot like the Cocchi.


"Martinis should always be stirred, not shaken, so that the molecules lie sensuously one on top of the other." - W. Somerset Maugham

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Quinine, orange, cinnamon...definitely.  But, I just took a quick sip from my open bottle of Cocchi and couldn't really detect any almond note.

[...]

It never occurred to me either, until I noticed flavor similarities to drinks made with Americano and when I made the Imperial Cocktail. Maybe they're using a grappa to fortify it and that's what I'm tasting?


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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Quinine, orange, cinnamon...definitely.  But, I just took a quick sip from my open bottle of Cocchi and couldn't really detect any almond note.

[...]

It never occurred to me either, until I noticed flavor similarities to drinks made with Americano and when I made the Imperial Cocktail. Maybe they're using a grappa to fortify it and that's what I'm tasting?

lillet has a website and does note the use of bitter, sweet and green oranges. and they also only disclose quinine...

they also note 85% base wine and 15% "fruit liqueurs"... then get age it... from their website in the production outline they are apparently confident it ages and young fruit vintages should be blended with portions of older vintages that have developed more a candied fruit style and mature "bouquet"...

they may not be bull shitting... the product could be a case of simple imputs, some aging, blending, and then complex outputs...

i get almond out of some vermentinos but there are no almonds added... quinine is naturally cinnamony...

to make a replica that is fun to drink you would need to cut corners and use complex inputs to generate quickly obtained complex outputs... add almonds to get lillet's natural almond character...

you could also experiment with leaving a bottle directly in the sun for a week or two... creating some expedited aging by radiation and then blending it with the younger stuff and adding a little more quinine... it might do the trick... i keep finding italian liqueur recipes that advocate sun aging...


Edited by bostonapothecary (log)

abstract expressionist beverage compounder

creator of acquired tastes

bostonapothecary.com

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They're even closer to the vest on the Cocchi Americano website:

Giulio Cocchi's original recipe Americano is more that just a simple aperitif in the town of Asti - in fact, it is the aperitif by definition, a piece of this century's local cultural and gastronomic history. This is the original Americano, produced without a break since 1891 according to an entirely natural recipe: white wine aromatized with many herbs and spices, no artificial colouring, flavouring or additive of any kind.

It is produced in limited quantities and matured for a year before being put on sale. The new bottle in that form of the classic clear glass Bordeaux shape is designed to be show the aperitif's natural origins as a wine, quite different to other inventive aperitifs based on alcohol.

This website, from the importer is a bit more forthcoming:

This golden colored, wine based aperitif is the last product of its type. Called Americano, due to an acoustical distortion of “amaricante,” or bittering component of a drink, these drinks flavored with bitter orange peel, quinine, chinchona bark, and alpine herbs were at the height of their popularity before the turn of the 19th century. Campari, the reknown red colored “bitter” is the most famous. Americano Cocchi was very much sought after in Italy. Still made by the Bava family following the original recipe of its pharmacist inventor, Giulio Cocchi, at Asti in Italy’s Piemonte, this is a wonderful, unusual drink for the summer months.

Interesting about the name!


---

Erik Ellestad

If the ocean was whiskey and I was a duck...

Bernal Heights, SF, CA

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On the rocks, sometimes with a splash of soda for me.

I live in Texas, and my local liquour store sells the rouge.  I've never tried it, but now's as good a time as any to give it a whirl (after looking up some recipes that use it).

Who sells the rouge in Texas? Spec's only has the blond.

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It's cool that people are talking about Vespers on here. I've been drinking them since that last James Bond movie 'Casino Royale'. I'm surprised they're not more popular. I make 'em with three parts Gin (I use Bulldog gin, it has some citrus notes that mix well with Lillet); one part Vodka, half part Lillet Blond. Gotta make sure it's shaken not stirred (we're talking James Bond here people) and give it a cool looking lemon twist.

I gotta give that drink 'The Tableu' a shot. Thanks for the recipe JAZ.


"I take a vitamin everyday- it's called steak."

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