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National Apéritif Day to be held next month

Published:  11 April, 2013

French apéritif producer Maison Lillet has declared May 16 the UK's first National Apéritif Day.

French apéritif producer Maison Lillet has declared May 16 the UK's first National Apéritif Day.

The day will be marked with apéritif masterclasses for consumers and trade by Jake Burger at The Portobello Star in Notting Hill, London, and Burger will also create Lillet apéritif recipes for social media and press use.

Harvey Nichols stores throughout the UK will run "L'heure de l'apéro" promotions, as will Barworks venues in London, Épernay Champagne bars in Leeds and Manchester, Montpeliers in Edinburgh and bars in Glasgow for the week beginning May 13.

French on-trade venues including Brasserie Zédel, Balthazar and Coq d'Argent will also offer promotions on Lillet (pronounced lee-lay) to encourage trial of the suggested serve, which is on the rocks with a slice of orange.

Lillet will also appoint a brand ambassador, dubbed Lady Lillet, who will visit London venues with a pop-up photo booth and Great Gatsby dressing up box.

The brand will give away bottles of Lillet Rosé and Lillet Blanc in Instagram, Facebook and Twitter photo competitions.

The UK launch of National Apéritif Day follows last year's launch in the US. "Beginning a meal with a canapé or small bite and a delicious 'before dinner' drink is a wonderful custom that deserves attention both in the US and the UK. We hope it continues for generations to come," Amanda Boccato, US brand ambassador, said.

The UK activities have been organised by Marblehead Brand Development, which distributes Lillet Rosé, Lillet Blanc and Lillet Rouge.

The wine-based drinks are made from a blend of Grand Cru varietals in Bordeaux. Lillet Rosé and Lillet Blanc include Muscatel grapes for a floral bouquet and Sauvignon Blanc for bright fruit characteristics, as well as Semillon for structure and length. The wine is blended with liqueurs made from sweet orange peels from Spain and bitter orange peels from Haiti, and a proprietary blend of fruit liqueurs, produced in Maison Lillet's distillery in Podensac.

Maison Lillet is also sponsoring the female-only speed bartending competition Speedrack on June 24.