The mention of wine coolers makes us think about cloying cocktails consumed while standing on tacky carpet.
No, thank you.
The mention of Lillet, the storied French aperitif, conjures the image of classic cocktails served on a sun-drenched patio. Thanks to its honeyed, spice-laden and refreshing flavors (each bottle comes emblazoned with the instruction “Serve Well-Chilled”), Lillet is a constant in any good bartender’s booze stable.
This month, Maison Lillet has released its first new product in 50 years: Lillet Rosé ($19 for 750 ml; click here to buy). Made of grand cru Sauvignon Blanc, Semillion and Muscadel grown in Bordeaux, the blend is mixed with fruit liqueurs and aged in oak casks. It has the mature nose of a vintage Champagne but is incredibly tart, with corners of berries and citrus.
Drink it simply on the rocks with a slice of grapefruit or use it in place of sweet vermouth in a cocktail. Because it sits happily between blanc and rouge, Lillet Rosé plays just as well in a Vesper as it does in an altered Manhattan.
Or, use it to update that awful wine cooler (click here to see the recipe). We can’t help with the carpet, though.