Lillet (pronounced lee-lay) is an aperitif wine, a type of drink traditionally enjoyed before a meal. It originated in 1887 in the Bordeaux region of France, by the Lillet brothers, Paul and Raymond, distillers and merchants of spirits, soda, and candies. It was one of the first tonic wines, and became increasingly popular around the turn of the 20th century when tonic drinks were touted as good for the health. The ban against absinthe in 1915 also contributed to the popularity of the drink. In the 1950s and 60s, the golden age of cocktails, Lillet became the centerpiece of a number of drinks served in the fashionable bars and restaurants of New York City, where it was sometimes served flambé. It was also popularly served with gin in England.
Out of stock