Has anyone ever tryed the wine "Lillet" an aperitif wine? I bought a bottle in New Orleans and it was delicious. It had a apple taste. Gosh it has a real kick to it, you can't drink much.
Sure. It's a fortified wine so it's not actually pure wine - it's got flavorings and additional alcohol added, that's why it has that kick. I think they use Armagnac, which is a brandy like Cognac. In addition, they add some herbs and some orange rind and they used to use quinine but don't any more. In the 1960s they came out with a red version for the US market - similar story.
It was hot stuff in the 50s and 60s, partly because James Bond drank it but partly because the US didn't really drink wine but after Jackie O, everyone wanted to have something French in the house and the flavor of this was acceptable to the US palate. It's kind of getting a revival these days, sort of a retro thing. But it's actually pretty nice to have really chilled or even with ice on a hot day, because you wouldn't put ice in wine.
If you like that, the Italians make Marsala and Vermouth - also wines with additional ingredients. And you can do great things with it in the kitchen - try some Lillet when you deglaze your pan next time you saute some chicken breasts.
A local restaurant/bar in my area has a signature martini using Lillet. They've had it on their drink menu at least since the 70's. They garnish the drink with an orange peel.
Thank you Rose and Dilly, how interesting.