In a petit village in the renowned Bordeaux region, you’ll find La Maison Lillet. Pretty great location for crafting your favourite french apéritif if you ask us! And this is indeed what’s been going on since 1872. Our skilled production team of 10 people, provides the craftsmanship behind the refreshing & smooth apéritif that we all cherish.
Come & visit us!
Come along on a journey where we will show you how we make this delicious apéritif!
The 3 stages of a traditional & responsible process
Lillet is a subtle blend of wines and fruit infusions, the result of traditional craftsmanship and of expertise dating back nearly 150 years. The Bordeaux region’s winemaking heritage, together with the fruit infusions at the heart of Maison Lillet’s expertise since the 19th century, ensure the excellent quality of our aperitifs. In preparing Lillet, we take particular care over the sourcing of our ingredients. One important objective we have is to select more wines from vineyards that use environmentally friendly practices.
Meticulous in our choice of wines
As an aperitif, Lillet is made to bring out the very best in the wines from which it is blended. That is why we are so meticulous about quality when selecting them. Then we blend them with liqueurs created by infusing fruit. We only choose French wines, most of them made by growers in the region. To strengthen these links and our involvement in the local economy, we have entered into partnerships and vineyard-planting contracts with local producers since 2018. This mutually beneficial initiative provides our partners with long-term income while ensuring our supply of quality wines.
Traditionally prepared fruits infusions
From Lillet’s inception, the fruits and peels that go into it have been carefully chosen for their freshness and aromatic intensity. The sweet oranges come from Turkey, Morocco or Spain, the bitter oranges from Haiti and the cinchona from South America. The fruits and fruit peels are infused separately by being slowly cold-soaked in alcohol. After several weeks, once the flavour has been extracted, the liquid is run off and the fruits are pressed. The latter are then recycled – after their use for the infusions, they are collected and taken for composting less than thirty kilometres away.
Looking back at 150 YEARS OF HISTORY
A Maison founded in 1872
Brothers Raymond and Paul Lillet, liqueur makers and fine wine and spirit merchants, founded the Maison Lillet in Podensac, a small village south of Bordeaux, in 1872. It was in 1887 that they created Bordeaux’s first and truly unique aperitif: Lillet.
Mid 30’s a small business with big ambitions starts exporting
Lillet had its hour of glory in post-world war one in Britain during the 1930s and 40s. The brand continued growing into the 1950s and could be found in London’s leading bars. This was the world that gave rise to The Vesper, James Bond’s legendary cocktail based on Lillet. Author Ian Fleming discovered the aperitif in a cocktail creation and included it in his book ‘Casino Royale’. At the same time, the Bordeaux aperitif was also expanding in America and became a firm favourite in New York’s fashionable bars. In 1962, Lillet Rouge was created for an American market with a taste for red wine.
Lillet today and its success
The search for authenticity and quality products made using local expertise has brought renewed awareness and success to aperitifs of character like Lillet. This is a cross-border phenomenon and is fuelling further growth for our Lillet aperitif internationally. In 2011, Lillet Rosé was launched, building on the success of rosé wines. Finally, 2016 saw the creation of Lillet Grande Réserve 2012, a blend encapsulating all of the Maison’s expertise.