No matter which bar or restaurant you find yourself at around the world, chances are you could spy a bottle of Lillet on the bar shelves. Such has been the case since the brand's inception in 1872. Lillet is a traditional French aperitif from Bordeaux—composed of 85% wine and 15% citrus liqueurs—that has remained a popular (but not faddy) tipple for over 100 years. The dynamics of the aperitif make for a delightful sipper, but the entire range (blanc, rosé and rouge) has been used to bolster cocktails and lend its signature taste in support of other spirits—and the results are pretty special.
Most people associate Lillet with the more popular rosé and blanc iterations, but the rouge is a solid alternative for those seeking something with greater weight. Primarily merlot-based, it's hearty and bold with a rich sweetness, and a great substitute for wine when making one of our summertime favorites: sangria. And, as Lillet Rouge's ABV clocks in at 17% (higher than most wines), it makes for a potent sangria—without having to add brandy or additional liqueurs to punch it up. Best made by the bottle or jug (though is can easily be made by the glass), the Rouge-fueled variation is as simple as combining the ingredients, serving and sipping. Pick up a bottle online for $18.
1 part Lillet Rouge
Diced fresh fruit of your choice (we suggest berries, apples, grapes, oranges)
0.5 part fresh lemon or lime juice
Combine all the ingredients in a wine glass or Collins glass and stir. For a larger batch, combine all ingredients in a pitcher before serving. Garnish with an orange slice.
Images courtesy of Lillet