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A Lillet Bastille Day

Not belonging to another particular nationality has ever stopped me from celebrating that country’s holidays – after all, it’s just another good excuse to have a few nice drinks. Bastille Day is no exception with its timeliness in summer after our own July 4th parties, and in preparation of tonight’s activities I’ll be making several cocktails with a bottle of Lillet Rose. Recently released this last spring for the first time, the Rose brings the flavors of several different grapes together into a wonderful aperitif which can be served chilled on its own or mixed in with other drinks.

See if any local establishments are throwing a special event for today – if in Seattle, you might like to check out the Corson Building and Le Pichet.


In a dispatch from London in 1915:

Then we came to Pimm’s, where good feeds are to be obtained, lobsters and real turtle soup . Did you ever have a Pimm’s No. 1 on a hot day? If not, you don’t know the most glorious drink in London—never mind what it costs, it’s worth it.

You absorb it through a couple of straws, and it runs through cool and refreshing, while the ice clinks musically against the side of the silver tankard, and the green stuff floats about on top, and you see things more clearly through the glass bottom as you regretfully near the end. The only trouble is that once you take the first sip you don’t wish to stop till it’s all gone, and then you want another; but you must not have many “another”; you can find out why for yourself.

– W.A.J. Loveday, London in War Time

Cocktail presentations sometimes change over time but it seems that a Pimm’s Cup still looks about the same as it would a century ago. Side note: after a bit of reading I noticed that references to Pimm’s No. 1 did not start entering American cocktail literature until the 1940’s and 50’s – I wonder if it was strictly a local specialty that was brought back after WW2, or perhaps the popularity increase across the pond was the result of a good marketing campaign by whoever owned the brand during the time?

A Proper Drink Case for the Field

Available from the Worcestershire Leather Company. Also be sure to check out the quick release belts.


Summer Drinks

Modified Pimm’s Cup
2oz Pimm’s #1
6oz Ginger Ale

Serve over ice in Duralex glassware and garnish with a lemon slice.

Death in the Afternoon
2oz Absinthe
Cheap Champagne

Or as Hemingway put it: “Pour one jigger absinthe into a Champagne glass. Add iced Champagne until it attains the proper opalescent milkiness. Drink three to five of these slowly.”

No Olive Martini
2oz Gin
0.5oz Dry Vermouth

Shake with ice in a mixer and serve in a martini glass with a lemon peel garnish.

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