There are only a few months out of the year when life is truly uncomfortable without air conditioning, and we have just entered those months. To cope with that lack, we here at SLOSHED! HQ have been drinking many cold beverages, and I’ve been perusing the bookmarked recipe archives, where this little number has been sitting a rather unfortunately long time. I stumbled across a number of great vintage recipes when I was cruising Gourmet’s cocktail roundup from their archives, and I bookmarked the Lillet and Lemon Syrup Cocktail all the way back in 2009. It’s taken me this long to get around to making the darn thing, but it’s certainly helping to dull the fantasies about walk-in freezers and ice hotels.
As a bonus, we’ve been on something on an aperitivo kick—there have been many Americanos enjoyed in this punishingly hot weather, along with Cocchi Americano or Carpano Antica on the rocks. Of course, none of this is terribly blog-worthy so I’ve been keeping mum on our tremendously lazy bartending. The Lillet & Lemon, however, does require a wee bit of effort so I’m calling it a recipe.
2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 Tbsp agave nectar or simple syrup
3 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz Fever Tree Bitter Lemon soda
In a double old-fashioned glass, stir together the lemon juice and agave nectar until well mixed. Fill the glass with ice and add the Lillet and Bitter Lemon soda. Stir to combine, garnish with a lemon round and serve.
The original drink, as published in 1992, calls for making a lemon syrup, which is mixed with half a cup (!) of Lillet Blanc per drink and topped with club soda. She has good bones, but when made that way it falls a little bit flat, tasting entirely of Lillet and losing most of the lemon essence. (Not that I mind the taste of Lillet, but if you’re going to drink it straight why bother making a syrup?) I’ve tweaked things a bit and added a little moxie, with lovely results. The resulting Lillet & Lemon is tart, mildly sweet and refreshing, perfect for sipping by the pool.