Drink of the Week: Lillet-Basil Cocktail

I love Lillet. It had been awhile since we’d had a bottle of this French aperitif  wine inside the house, so the other week when I was in the mood for a “menage a trois” (Lillet, gin and St. Germaine) I sexted texted my hubby to bring home a bottle. Now, we have most of a bottle left and are in need of Lillet recipes. Enter the Lillet-Basil Cocktail, a yummy little Martha Stewart number I found on Yummly.

It's all about the Lillet in this refreshing sip.

It’s all about the Lillet in this refreshing sip.

Honestly, I could drink Lillet on its own, but it seems heavy and sweet neat, so I looked for a recipe that uses oranges (we are out of lemons and limes!). Plus, the last of our basil was begging to be used up. The original Lillet-Basil recipe doesn’t call for simple syrup, but I felt it could use a touch of sweet so I added a half ounce. I also subbed in club soda for tonic; I cringed at the thought of adding bitter Schweppes to my sweet Lillet. The result is a fragrant and refreshing sip that plays up Lillet’s inherent charms.

Lillet-Basil Cocktail

  • 1/2 cup Lillet Blanc
  • 1 oz gin
  • 2 tbsp. fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 oz simple syrup
  • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh basil leaves, plus sprig for garnish
  • Splash tonic water (I used club soda)
  • 1 cucumber spear for garnish

Into a cocktail shaker add the Lilt, gin, orange juice, simple syrup, basil leaves and ice. Shake well. Strain into an ice-filled tumbler, add soda water and garnish with the cucumber spear and basil sprig.

— Recipe adapted from Martha Stewart via Yummly

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