Monday, July 20, 2009

Lillet Summer Cooler

I've been pondering just how I will do this.

Go into great detail?

Jump right in, ignoring the obvious?

Fix us all a light summer cocktail and celebrate?

I think option number three is going to win out.

So why am I celebrating? My return to blogging. It's been disconcerting to be away for so long. Like a part of me has been missing.

Enough. I'm here. Let's raise our glasses to friends, family, dear bloggers near and far, good food to come, and a great summer cocktail.

First, a little back story:

Our youngest son attends art school in Portland where he and his lovely wife make their home. He is also a licensed bartender. When Mr CC and I visited them recently (during an intense heatwave), Miles first made us a wonderfully refreshing non-alcoholic drink from South Africa, recipe courtesy of Evangelina, called a Rock Shandy. This drink incorporates equal parts organic sparkling lemonade and ginger ale, a few dashes of Angostura bitters, and is served in a tall glass with lots of ice.

Mmmm, bitters. Angostura is the most popular brand. Peychaud's Bitters is traditionally used in a Sazerac, which, should you find yourself in Portland, can be made for your imbibing enjoyment at Hoyt 23 in the historic Alphabet District.

That was my first taste of bitters. Since then I've purchased my very own bottle and have put bitters in my orange juice, on my scrambled eggs, on grilled fish, fresh sliced tomatoes; it seems there is no end to how you can use them. I find the Peychaud's has the best flavor for food and for this little cooler.

Which brings us back to the subject of my celebratory post - that which you see in the photo above: the Lillet Summer Cooler. Named by yours truly and inspired by bitters, I had an epiphany and asked the bartender at Hoyt 23 make one for me. I must confess to needing to come down a few notches from having had a Sazerac the night before. (Not for the timid, I can tell you.)

Lillet (pronounced lee-lay) is a delightful apéritif from the Bordeaux region of France. A combination of wine, orange liqueurs, fruit and herbs, it is supremely wonderful on a hot summer evening, served very cold, with light appetizers. I think my version makes sipping doubly delightful.

Lillet Summer Cooler
Christine's original recipe (so far as I know)

Fill a tall glass (8-ounces or more) with ice. Pour in 3-ounces of Lillet (white) and several dashes of Peychaud's Bitters (I think I did 4-5 dashes, but I really like it.) Give it a stir then fill the glass with a low to no sodium seltzer. Peel a 1/8-inch wide by 2-inch long strip from a Meyer lemon, leaving the white pith off. Twist the lemon strip over the drink to release the essential oils and drop it into the glass.

Sip slowly and enjoy.

Cook's Notes:
> Yes I know, 3 ounces is a lot of alcohol but, in my defense, it does get diluted by the ice and seltzer.
> Lots of links. When I get excited about something, I want to share.

Copyright © 2005-2009, Christine Cooks. All rights reserved


  1. Welcome back! Your drink sounds awesome. Cheers!


  2. Thank you so much, Paz and Simona. My steadfast friends. I'm so happy to be back!

  3. I say there girl, that's a perfect comeback!

  4. I am headed to the liquor store! I LOVE this combination~ and, a special toast to you, my friend!

  5. Thank you Jann. I'll lift my glass to you across the US while I'm having my Lillet Summer Cooler on the deck this evening. :)


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