Don't let the title fool ya. It may sound refined and kind of snobby, but this Lillet spritzer with honey and rosemary will bring even the strongest man to his knees. It's strong â so, very strong.
You know me... I can throw back the bourbon. I'm particularly in love with this Peach Arnold Palmer with Bourbon. But this, I called it after two. I tapped out and took my ass straight to bed.
For those who haven't had the pleasure of sipping a chilled glass of Lillet, it's absolutely glorious. The wine is complex, smooth, and on the sweeter side, which is why I prefer to blend it with other ingredients or serve it on the rocks with a splash of club soda and orange wedge.
Lillet is a blend of Bordeaux region wines and macerated citrus liqueurs. The mixture is stirred in large oak vats until blended and then aged in oak barrels for several months to mature. After the mixture reaches its peak of maturity, it gets blended with various wines to create its signature candied fruit notes and vibrant flavor.
Now that you've been schooled, let's get to gettin' about the cocktail. Like I mentioned above, this cocktail is ultra boozy. I blame it on the gin. I love gin, but it's potent. I always end up with that clouded heady feeling after two. I'm not saying that's a bad thing. The aromatic, herbal gin is Lillet's perfect partner. The flavors complement each other, each of them bringing out and enhancing the other's aromatic notes. This cocktail is not lacking in the flavor department, that's for sure.
To help tame the natural bitterness of the gin, I made honey rosemary simple syrup. The honey adds natural sweetness but also mellows things out a bit, creating a well-rounded and smooth cocktail. The rosemary is subtle; it lingers in the background, adding a subtle woody flavor.
While the flavors are complex, the making of this cocktail is not. If you want to feel fancy for the day, give in to the shaker.
For the Simple Syrup:
- 1/2 cup honey
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 sprigs rosemary
For the Cocktail:
- 4 ounces lillet blanc
- 1 ounce gin
- 1/2 ounce honey rosemary simple syrup, recipe above
- 2 1/2 ounces club soda
- squeeze of fresh lemon juice
- sprig rosemary, for garnish
- lemon slice, for garnish
Add honey, water, and rosemary to a saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium-low heat. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature. Strain. Transfer the mixture to an airtight container and store in the refrigerator until ready to use. The syrup will stay fresh for up to 1 month.
To make the cocktail, add the Lillet, gin, simple syrup, and lemon juice to a shaker. Add a generous handful of ice. Shake vigorously for 20 seconds. Transfer the mixture to a rocks or highball glass filled with ice and top with club soda. Garnish with a sprig of rosemary and lemon slice.
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