If you get into making cocktails, one of the things you notice is how a new ingredient will spur the creation or adaptation of dozens of new drinks (and sometimes the revival of old classics). I still remember when St. Germain (sweet Elderflower liqueur) came out about five years ago and it seemed almost any drink with simple syrup or Cointreau was adapted to include St. Germain. And quite a few of the drinks were good, so much so that St. Germain is a pretty common ingredient these days.
Well, we expect to see another spurt of new cocktails coming this summer, many of them with a touch of pink. Lillet just released its first new product in 50 years, Lillet Rose’. Lillet blanc is a well-known French apéritif used in cocktails like the Corpse Reviver #2 and the Vesper, and is also enjoyed on the rocks. A few weeks ago Lillet released their Rose’ version to the public (trade-types got early access last year and the response was very positive) and we decided to play around. The Lillet Rose’ is very tasty, similar to Lillet blanc but with a bit more floral, orange and berry notes. And yes, it is very pink. We like the Lillet Rose’ on its own but also in a number of cocktails we tried, but for many adaptations of the classics we are still fine-tuning (again, we suffer for our cocktails…really).
But we have one recipe that we adapted with immediate good results, the Rose Pearl. The Rose Pearl is an adaptation of the Pearl Button. The Pearl Button combines cachaca, lime juice, Lillet Blanc and San Pellegrino Limonata soda. It is a great drink, but we figured that the Lillet Rose would add some extra orange and floral notes and a nice pink lemonade color (and yes, we are secure enough to admit we like a pink drink sometimes). And it turned out that the Lillet Rose’ not only gives new color to the drink but the floral notes and orange flavor play really well with cachaca and the other citrus. The Rose Pearl is supremely refreshing and a great “long” drink for summer, and if you don’t like pink, just use the Lillet Blanc. Continue reading