In 1872 Raymond and Paul Lille, two of France’s most prominent merchants of fine spirits, liqueurs and wines, collaborated to create the perfect Bordeaux aperitif. Their creation was named Kina Lillet until a few decades ago. It is now known simply as Lillet.
Today, the range encompasses a selection of refreshing aperitifs blended from fine Bordeaux wines and handmade fruit liqueurs. They’re still produced in Podensac, in the Aquitaine region of south-west France, where the brothers originally founded La Maison Lillet.
Sweet, fruity aromas of candied oranges mesh with sticky honey, earthy pine resin and exotic fruits to tempt the senses before the first taste of this light, smooth aperitif. Lillet Blanc is based on sémillon grapes, which gives it the full and fleshy structure it’s renowned for. Blanc is ideal served on the rocks with an orange wedge, or blended into a signature Lillet Vive with cucumber and tonic.
The ruby variant of the Lillet family was formulated in the 1960s by Pierre Lillet, to instant acclaim. Lillet fans and red wine aficionados alike adored the rich flavour and robust, tannic mouthfeel. A merlot base gives Rouge a stronger flavour than its Blanc counterpart, which is best enjoyed on the rocks with an orange wedge, or with bitter lemon in a Lillet Rougette.
Another sémillon-based aperitif, Lillet Rosé combines this mouth-watering grape variety with natural liqueurs. Hand-crafted in Podensac using a custom combination of sweet and bitter oranges and seasonal berries, the meticulously-balanced fruit blend gives Lillet Rosé its delicate blush colour and delicate aromas. Top with lemonade for a refreshing aperitif, or Champagne and a dash or orange bitters for the classic Lillet Rosé Flambé.