Word on the street is that the LCBO is out of Lillet Blanc. Again.
For bartenders, the perennial hit-and-miss Lillet supply has been a real sore point, since it’s an essential ingredient for several classics, including the much-celebrated Corpse Reviver #2. While the specific origin date for this drink is obscure, Corpse Revivers were a family of 19th-century traditional American breakfast drinks and version number two was written about, rather famously in 1930, by Harry Craddock in The Savoy Cocktail Book: “Four of these taken in swift succession will unrevive the corpse again.”
Lillet Blanc is useful in other cocktails as well—notably Bond’s original creation, the Vesper—since this French aperitif wine is a versatile base with a richer mouth-feel than vermouth. And with citrus and tonic notes, it’s also quite lovely to drink on the rocks. Bartenders are lamenting our loss, but its death might be slightly exaggerated: the LCBO inventory system shows 30-something bottles in random and far-flung places around the province. Ask for them to be shipped to your local and ye just might receive—and then fix yourself one of these:
Corpse Reviver #2 recipe
1 oz Lillet Blanc
1 oz Cointreau
1 oz Plymouth Gin
1 oz fresh lemon juice (strained)
3 drops Taboo Absinthe*
Shake all ingredients except the absinthe over ice and strain into chilled glass. Add the Taboo float and garnish with a cherry.
*Taboo Absinthe is another story. We’ll get to it next week.