Well we were so Lucky that this weeks challenge coincided with the Orange Fair at the Apperitif Producer LILLET in Podensac, just down the road. This rather historic drink has a rather particular following and is an enjoyable apperitif, when chilled, with fish and seafood – otherwise it can be quite an acquired taste.
Lillet (French pronunciation: [li’le]) is a French aperitif wine from Podensac, a small village south of Bordeaux. It is a blend of 85% Bordeaux region wines (Semillon for the Blanc and for the Rosé, Merlot for the Rouge) and 15% macerated liqueurs handcrafted on site, mostly citrus liqueurs (peels of sweet oranges from Spain and Morocco and peels of bitter green oranges from Haiti) and Quinine liqueur made of Cinchona bark from Peru.
The mix is then stirred in oak vats until perfectly blended. During the ageing process, Lillet is handled as attentively as any great Bordeaux wine (undergoing fining, racking, filtering etc.). “Lillet” belongs to a family of aperitifs known as tonic wines because of the addition of Quinine liqueur.