Fortify Your Lillet With Vodka

Fortify Your Lillet With Vodka
Photo: Claire Lower

Portland and many other cities are currently experiencing the first wave of faux spring, and it seems to be doing wonders for the collective mood. Personally, the sunshine has a re-awakened my desire for patio pounders — relatively low ABV beverages with bright, fresh flavours that can be guzzled without any truly unfortunate repercussions. And Lillet happens to make a great base for this genre of cocktail.

Lillet, which is crisp, sweet, and refreshing, is a fortified, aromatised wine, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be further fortified with a little vodka and a few dashes of bitters. By combining a fair amount of Lillet Blanc with a smaller amount of vodka, you get a very spring-ish inverted kangaroo situation, except you’re using Lillet instead of vermouth. (Full disclosure: Though I have bought and written about Lillet several times before, this particular bottle that I used to make this drink was sent to me for free.)

If you prefer gin, I understand completely, but give it a spin with vodka first for a cleaner, more Lillet-forward experience. Using vodka instead of gin lets the honey and citrus-flavoured aperitif shine, much like the sun you should be drinking it under. This drink is good over crushed ice and it’s good straight up in a super-cold cocktail glass. Try it both ways and see which one you prefer.

To make it, you will need:

  • 60mL Lillet Blanc
  • 30mL vodka
  • A few dashes of bitters, either Angostura or orange

Combine vodka and Lillet in a stirring glass filled with ice and stir to chill. Strain over crushed or pellet ice, or serve up in a chilled coupe if you want a silkier, denser beverage. Shake in a few dashes of bitters and enjoy.

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