Lillet, Not Frasier's Ex-Wife

I finally located a bottle of Lillet blanc up in Indianapolis. Up on the top shelf too; an employee had to get it down for me. Several of my drink recipes have called for it, and I've been substituting dry vermouth.

Another of France's many aperitifs (why don't we drink those much over here?), I tried some straight on ice: sort of a sweet dry vermouth. I also have a bottle of Lillet rouge that I haven't cracked since none of my recipes have called for it, but I don't go for very sweet red wines, except maybe port.

The first drink to catch up on was from January, a vodka martini with Absolut Mandarin, a drizzle of Lillet, and orange flower water. It was OK, not particularly distinctive despite all the orange in it.

The second one was another martini with gin (I used Plymouth), Russian vodka (Stoli), and Lillet. I liked this one better: the sweetness of the Lillet cut the astringency of the vodka. Not a bad drink if you're looking for something different to do with vodka.

Last (not on the same evening) was a cocktail with Absolut Mandarin (it called for Citron), gin, lots of Cointreau, a drizzle of brandy (I'm not sure why; to fortify all the other alcohol, I guess), and sliced ginger.

This was the best of the bunch. It was really orangey, but if I'd had Citron, that would have cut back on the orange. As the ginger slices steeped (I didn't bother to peel them), the drink got nicely spicey. A good drink. I may try it again when I have some Citron and see if that makes it even better.