It's often served pre-dinner, straight on the rocks with an orange twist, but Lillet Rouge is even better in this simple drink, mixed with fresh lemon and Bonal Gentiane Quina.
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Lillet has released a few vintage bottlings in especially good years for white Bordeaux wines, and one of those, 2009, has just reached the market. The blend is aged for 12 months in French oak barrels that are 225 liters. (Regular Lillet is aged in large oak vats ranging from 8,000 liters to 20,000 liters.)
These drinks stimulate the appetite without swamping your stomach. They're excellent for parties, because they buzz your guests without totally inebriating them; they cool you down and perk you up without making you feel heavy. And some of them, for good reason, have been around almost as long as carbonation.