Illustration for article titled Fortify Your Lillet With VodkaPhoto: Claire LowerHappy hour with 3 ingredientsHappy hour with 3 ingredientsThe weekly beverage column with super simple but delicious libations.

Portland and many other cities are currently experiencing the first wave of artificial spring, and it seems to be doing wonders for the collective mood. Personally, the sunshine has rekindled my craving for patio pounders – relatively low ABV drinks with bright, fresh flavors that can be consumed with no really unfortunate effects. And Lillet is a great base for this genre of cocktails.

Illustration for article titled Fortify Your Lillet With Vodka

Lillet, crispy, sweet and refreshing, is an enriched, flavored wine, but that doesn’t mean that it can’t be further enriched with a little vodka and a few dashes of bitter substance. When you combine a fair amount of Lillet Blanc with a smaller amount of vodka, you get a very spring-like inversion Kangaroo situationexcept you are using Lillet instead of vermouth. (Full Disclosure: Although I bought and written about Several times before, Lillet was sent this special bottle that I made this drink out of, free of charge.)

If your preference is gin I totally understand, but try vodka first for a cleaner, lillet-forward-facing experience. If you use vodka instead of gin, the honey and citrus flavored aperitif will seem much like the sun you should drink it under. This drink is good over crushed ice and it is good in a super cold cocktail glass. Try it both ways and see which one you prefer.

To do it you will need:

  • 2 ounces white lillet
  • 1 ounce of vodka
  • A few dashes of bitter, either angostura or orange

Mix the vodka and lillet in a mixing glass filled with ice and stir to cool. Strain over crushed ice or pellet ice, or serve in a chilled coupe for a silkier, denser drink. Shake a few dashes of the bitter and enjoy.

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