Lillet Blanc Is The Fortified Wine That Gives Your Gin Cocktails A Floral Touch

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The most famous use of Lillet Blanc has to be the Vesper Martini, which was first concocted by the author Ian Fleming as a drink of choice for James Bond in the book “Casino Royale” back in 1953. Fleming really did his homework – the gin-based cocktail is fantastic and has continued to be a bar staple for decades. Still, it’s worth mentioning that the recipe for Lillet Blanc isn’t the same today as it was when James Bond first introduced the Vesper Martini. 

Back then, the spirit was known as Kina Lillet. Kina Lillet was made in 1887 with more quinine and had a sweeter flavor profile. Quinine is an herbal antimalarial pulled from the Peruvian cinchona tree and there was a whole genre of drinks designed to make the medicine more palatable called quinquinas that Kina Lillet belonged to. In 1986, to appeal to a broader consumer base, the Kina Lillet recipe was changed by reducing the amount of quinine and sugar. The change came with a rebranding and, thus, Lillet Blanc was born.

Another great recipe that includes Lillet Blanc is the Corpse Reviver No. 2, which puts that hangover on layover when you need it most. The glass is rinsed with absinthe and filled with equal parts gin, Lillet Blanc, orange liqueur, and lemon juice for a truly eye-opening experience. And if you enjoy more spirit-forward cocktails, the White Negroni is a unique twist on an old classic that uses gin, Lillet Blanc, and a bitter French aperitif called Suze.

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