The Official Guide

Most Beautiful Villages in France book

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Official Guide to the Most Beautiful Villages of France

The Official Guide

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Lillet aperitif from Bordeaux

Somehow you do not expect to find an aperitif being made in the middle of the Bordeaux vineyards – at Podensac (33 Gironde, Aquitaine – see map) – 30km south of the city centre in the middle of the Graves appellation.
Lillet is a blend of wines (85%) from one of the most prestigious wine-growing regions in the world – together with 15% fruit liqueurs. Like many french vermouths Lillet is flavoured with quinine (the bark of the cinchona from Peru. To this are added sweet, bitter and green oranges and orange peel. These are distilled into a fruit liqueur, then blended with the wine and matured in oak for 6-12 months.
Lillet has recently come back into fashion as one of the components of James Bond’s favourite cocktail in Ian Fleming’s Casino Royale. 007 called it the Vesper (after the female lead character in the book and film) – a mix of gin, vodka and Lillet!!
There are both red and white versions of Lillet – the white based on Sauvignon and Semillon grapes, the red from Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot. The white is more popular with aromas of mint, flowere and citrus fruit.
For more on Vermouths including Lillet see
For more info on Lillet see

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