It’s time to be a little boastful, but we can’t help it. We know a good thing when we see it. And we love when we see it first.

From our very first “before it officially launched in the US” sip of Lillet Rose we’ve been in love with this new introduction from the venerable brand that, for many, defined aperitifs.

Now it’s fully available here, and though it’s far from us to offer gambling advice, we can guarantee that it is not a lousy gamble to order this, even if you don’t already sell lots of aperitifs.

Don’t believe us? Think we’re bragging just so you’ll applaud us for getting the scoop on this way ahead of the crowd? Au contraire, mon frères; your colleagues love it too. So much so that it’s up for best new product at this Year’s Tales of the Cocktail awards.

That’s gotta say something.

What it says to us is that you’re looking for new ways to excite your guests. They may be steeped in tradition, like aperitifs, but it’s new and exciting to the folks to whom you’re serving drinks these days.

Amanda Boccato, Lillet’s Brand Ambassador (and all around aperitif champion), has this to say, “I hope to bring a bit more elegance back into everyday American culture through the art of apéritif-ing.

Through both trade and consumer education I’ve been able to unroll this European cultural staple that has often been mis-translated, in American society, as “happy hour.” With Lillet, we’ve coined a new term, “the elegant hour. Any moment can be an ‘apéritif moment’ and any hour can be an ‘elegant hour.’ I’m demonstrating this at the Lillet Tasting Room this week at the 10th Annual Tales of the Cocktail in New Orleans, where we’ve also been graciously nominated for best new product this year!”

She continues to share the journey that brought us this product so many of you love already and explains, “We finally brought Lillet Rosé to the American market after years in the making. It was the next step in a natural progression for the entire classic line of Lillet apéritifs. A big deal for us– we tend to average launching a new product every 50 years!

With the launch of National Apéritif Day (annually on May 17th), as with everything I do, it’s my intent to bring attention to the entire category of apéritifs.”

Our take at INSIDE F&B is that the newest addition to the Lillet family is equally lush and light and we think this exquisite low ABV refresher works beautifully in cocktails and on its own. So, it’s with great pleasure that we introduce you to Lillet Rose.

While our favorite way to enjoy it is simply poured over ice and quickly stirred with a grapefruit peel please note; this isn’t just for the girls, or afternoon tea, or civilized cocktail parties;. Lillet Rose stands in as a refreshing alternative to beer and with its Grand Cru Bordeaux wine varietals base it is a perfect accompaniment to BBQ.

And bacon.

Rosé et Reims

2 oz. Lillet Rosé
4 oz. Perrier Jouët Champagne Brut
Grapefruit bitters
Orange twist

Served in a Champagne flute. First, add four dashes of grapefruit bitters to Champagne flute. Add Lillet Rosé, top with Champagne. Garnish with long orange twist.

Lil-Lily Pad

1 ¼ oz. Lillet Rosé
¾ oz. Hendrick’s Gin
¾ oz. fresh squeezed grapefruit juice
¼ oz. crème de violette*
edible poppy flower
orange twist (discarded)

Build all ingredients in shaker, add ice and shake vigorously. Strain and serve in a rounded cocktail coupe (about 5.5-6 oz.). Zest cocktail with orange twist, discard twist. Garnish with edible poppy flower, floating “lily pad” style.

*Recommended violet syrup recipe:
2 parts Hendrick’s Gin
1 part Monin Violet
1 part simple syrup

*Cocktails above by Amanda Boccato, 2012

Gentle Persuasion
By Lucinda Sterling for Middle Branch

3/4 oz. Lemon juice
1/2 oz. Cane syrup,
1/2 oz. Laird’s bonded applejack,
1.5 oz. Lillet Rose,
swizzle Peychaud’s bitters,
add more crushed ice on top and garnish with a mint sprig.