NEW YORK, May 1, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Maison Lillet, the celebrated vintner in Bordeaux, is taking a bold step to bring awareness to an often under-the-radar libation - the Aperitif - by declaring May 17, 2012 National Aperitif Day. Inspired by the enthusiasm surrounding their first new product in 50 years, Lillet Rose, Maison Lillet hopes to raise awareness surrounding all of the things that help to whet the appetite.
On that day, Maison Lillet is calling on all aperitif aficionados as well as newcomers to the custom around the country to celebrate the spirit of L'Apero, the French traditional aperitif hour and share a glass of Lillet with friends. Celebrants are invited to follow the day's festivities by following Lillet on Twitter at: @LadyLillet, tweeting their own aperitif occasion with the hashtag: #Lillet #AperitifDay and posting photos and anecdotes to Lillet's Facebook page: facebook.com/Lillet.
"We're excited to bring a renewed focus to an extremely elegant, time-honored tradition," said Lillet Brand Ambassador, Amanda Boccato. "As the 21st Century unfolds, we strive to keep the best of the past, while moving seamlessly into the future. That's why we've made this declaration in conjunction with the launch of our newest offering, the tradition-bound but quite modern: Rose from Lillet. Beginning a meal with a small bite and delicious 'before dinner' drink is a wonderful custom that deserves attention. We hope it continues for generations to come."
Aperitif is a French word, from the Latin verb aperire, meaning "to open." It is mainly used to describe liquid refreshment, but also can refer to food and snacks, such as amuse-bouche, crackers, pate or cheese, that open up the palate and create an appetite.
The concept of drinking a small amount of alcohol to fuel hunger dates back to ancient Egypt, but the first recorded aperitif - known in Italian as the aperitivo - appeared in 1786, when Antonio Benedetto Carpano invented vermouth in Turin, Italy.
The modern French aperitif was created in 1846 by chemist Joseph Dubonnet as a quinine 'delivery system' to help people ingest the malaria-fighting medicine. The practical drink soon caught fashion and the aperitif became a widespread ritual across Europe in the late 19th Century. The custom eventually spread to North and Central America as immigrants introduced the practice in their new home.
More recently, the aperitif saw resurgence in popularity in the 1970's as the pre-meal ritual morphed into the ubiquitous "Happy Hour." Today, television chefs and authors such as Ina Garten, Emeril Lagasse and Giada De Laurentis have focused on the 'appetite opener,' creating a Mango Champagne Aperitif, a Lillet Spritzer (made with Champagne), and a Sgroppino (Italian Cocktail) made with Prosecco respectively. The tradition of creating an appetite with a well-crafted spirit or drink is alive and flourishing. But, of course, the quintessential aperitif is Lillet served on ice with a slice of orange.
On May 17th, choose Lillet Blanc, Rouge or Rose as your aperitif of choice. Crafted from the best Bordeaux grapes and fine orange liqueur, Lillet is a light and refreshing cocktail that conveys a moment of conviviality and sophistication. The hint of quinine and low alcohol content in each blend not only gives each a slightly bitter taste, but also whets the appetite without cloying the palate. Lillet adds a bit of elegance to any gathering of family and friends and is best suited for when day turns into evening and evening into night. A votre sante and bon appetit!
Lillet is the classic aperitif from Bordeaux and a staple of sidewalk cafes and early evening cocktail parties across France. First created in 1872, Lillet is a blend of wine and citrus liqueurs, carefully crafted and aged in oak to impart a soft and rich character. Currently available in three varieties, Lillet Blanc, Lillet Rouge, and Lillet Rose, Lillet is considered the ultimate summer aperitif. Lillet Blanc has a golden color and a floral nose with hints of honey, candied orange, lime, and fresh mint, while Lillet Rouge has a ruby color, a raspberry nose and contains hints of blackberry, cherry vanilla, cinnamon, cardamom, and ginger. Lillet Rose has a subtle pink color, a lush fruity nose with tastes of ripe summer berries, wildflowers, melon and stone fruit, as well as traditional sweet and citrus notes. All three expressions have an ABV of 17% and an RRP of $19.99. Lillet is distributed in the United States by William Grant & Sons. For more information, visit www.lillet.com.
About William Grant & Sons
William Grant & Sons, Ltd. is an independent family-owned distiller headquartered in the United Kingdom and founded by William Grant in 1887. Today, the luxury spirits company is run by the fifth generation of his family and distills some of the world's leading brands of Scotch whisky, including the world's most awarded single malt Glenfiddich®, The Balvenie® range of handcrafted single malts and the world's fourth largest blended Scotch Grant's® as well as other iconic spirits brands such as Hendrick's® Gin, Sailor Jerry® Rum, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey and Milagro® Tequila.
Among the most recent accolades for the well-awarded company, William Grant & Sons was honored as the "Distiller of the Year" by the International Wine & Spirit Competition for the second year running and the fourth time since 1999. When counted along with the same designation from the International Spirits Challenge, William Grant & Sons has received this title an unprecedented nine times in the past 12 years.
Founded in 1964, William Grant & Sons USA is a wholly-owned subsidiary of William Grant & Sons, Ltd. and features one of the fastest growing spirits portfolios in the USA with brands including Glenfiddich, The Balvenie, Hendrick's Gin, Sailor Jerry Rum, Tullamore Dew Irish Whiskey, Milagro Tequila, Stolichnaya Vodka, Grant's, Hudson Whiskey, Gibson's Finest, Monkey Shoulder, Clan MacGregor, Reyka Vodka, Solerno Blood Orange Liqueur, Lillet, Art In The Age, The Knot and BOLS cordials. The company has offices in New York City (sales and marketing) and Edison, NJ (bottling and warehouse facilities). For more information on the company and its brands, please visit www.grantusa.com.
Please enjoy Lillet responsibly. Lillet French Aperitif Wine, 17% Alc. /Vol. ©2012 Imported by William Grant & Sons Inc.