In a nutshell: The famous aperitif wine beloved by the Bordelaise.
The lowdown: It's made using a base of Bordeaux white wine to which an exotic range of macerated citrus fruits, peels and spices are added before ageing in oak barrels. The result is wonderfully aromatic, subtly rich and fruity with a distinctively French elegance.
When to drink: Superb over ice with a twist of orange peel, or in a dry martini.
When brothers Paul and Raymond Lillet started making their eponymous aperitif wine in the village of Podensac just south of Bordeaux in 1872 they launched a brand that would not only become famous in France but carve a niche for itself throughout the world during the twentieth century.
Their products use a base of Bordeaux wine to which a range of macerated fruits are added before being aged in oak barrels. In addition to being drunk as aperitifs they've also become popular cocktail ingredients. Indeed Kina Lillet, a drier version of Lillet Blanc sadly no longer made, is the ingredient used to make a Vesper Martini for James Bond in the novel Casino Royale. As a result Lillet's reputation for being the peak of sophistication has ensured its popularity to this day.