It’s no secret I love anything vintage. Whether its fashion, furnishings, movies, aged wines, old New York culture or ancient cookbooks I’m hooked. Many of my Sundays are spent wandering junk shops, flea markets or historical sites in search of culinary inspiration or the next great vintage find.
More often than not these days find me (dressed in full-out 40′s or 50′s style) starting the day in Brooklyn hunting for funky fashion, old school recipe based start-ups or wonderful wine finds in the variety of small boutique shops popping up on side streets everywhere in Williamsburg.
A few months ago in my travels I stumbled upon a bottle of Lillet blanc, a French wine based apéritif I haven’t thought of in years. Pronounced [li'le] it’s a blend of 85% Bordeaux wines (Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon and Muscadelle) and 15% macerated liqueurs, the liquors mainly produced from the peels of sweet oranges from Spain and the peels of bitter green oranges from Haiti. Matured in oak casks it has been produced since the late 19th century and became wildly popular in the 20′s due to creative advertising campaigns.
Remembering my first experience with Lillet, the Vesper, an infamous cocktail crafted by Mr. James Bond, I couldn’t resist buying a bottle to add to my cocktail arsenal! I looked forward to experimenting or enjoying it as they do in France, deliciously simple over ice with a citrus twist.
Last week after a visit to my favorite market, The Artist and Flea I decided to visit Whisk, a must for cooks and cocktail geeks on Bedford Ave. Checking out the insane variety of craft Brooklyn bitters I spied one of Bittermens newest additions Burlesque Bitters! A ménage of hibiscus, acia and chile with a tart spicy flavor? This was a must buy, I couldn’t wait to get home and experiment.
After a bit of trail and error I decided to try a few cocktails blending my new bitters with Lillet. Balancing the spicy tart aspects and rich fruit flavors with the addition of a touch of sweet syrup, juice and fizz I came up with my own vintage inspired cocktail, the Lillet St. Cyr! Named for the sexy siren of old school burlesque, Miss Lili St. Cyr (one of favorite vintage ladies), it’s a delicious treat! Check out Lili in this rare clip of “Runaway Girl” a B movie about a bad girl who runs away to work in a vineyard!
The Lillet St. Cyr
This delicious cocktail is perfect for savvy sipping on hot summer nights! Crank up some cool jazz, don your swankiest summer attire and enjoy!
2 oz Lillet Blanc
1/2 oz Orange Vodka, I use Stoly
1 oz pineapple syrup ( 1 small can can pineapple juice, 1/2 cup sugar, heated till sugar incorporated into juice)
2 oz pink grapefruit juice
1 bar spoon of Bittermens Burlesque Bitters
1 1/2 oz Perrier
Fresh orange peel garnish
Fill tall glass 3/4 full with crushed ice. Add Lillet, syrup, juice, bitters and stir. Top with Perrier, garnish with fresh orange peel and enjoy!
Note FYI, vintage fashion lovers-
Looking for that perfect outfit for that 20′s lawn party, Champagne social or just to celebrate summer? Check out my favorite fashion maven, Ricky Becker from The Spooky Boutique at the weekly Artist and Flea in Williamsburg. He’s got the talent to find some of the most fabulous pieces in the city! From the 1880′s to the 1980′s Ricky curates an amazing selection to make you swoon-worthy! He has found some of my most treasured pieces, including a 40′s formal dress Navy jacket. Be warned though, you may become addicted!