Toast to the Eiffel Tower's Birthday with Lillet

Rachel Tepper Paley
March 31, 2014

Photo credit: Getty

Ma chérie Tour Eiffel! You look perfectly dashing on this most fantastic of birthdays. One-hundred-and-twenty-five is nothing to sneeze at. Why, back in 1899 when you were first built, people were milling around under your iron beams in straw boaters and dresses with billowy leg o’ mutton sleeves. Today, kids in jeans are snapping selfies in the same spots.

But you? Not a single wardrobe change and you still look chic.

This evening, pop into a cafe (or roll into your living room) and imagine, for a moment, lounging at a sidewalk table overlooking the Champ de Mars. Toast to that most iconic of Paris landmarks with an effervescent cocktail made with Lillet rosé, a blushing variety of the French aperitif, originally created in 1872 and still looking good at 142 years later. Sigh with pleasure, and daydream of aging as gracefully as these French icons (or Catherine Deneuve).

This recipe packs an acidic punch thanks to a hearty pour of grapefruit juice, while Lillet rosé adds springy sweetness and a rousing aroma of ripe berries. A touch of gin rounds it all out. Fresh edible flowers, if you have them, herald the season.

What better well to celebrate the Eiffel Tower?

Photo credit: Martha Stewart Living

Lillet Rose Spring Cocktail
from Martha Stewart Living
Serves 6

12 ounces Lillet Rose
12 ounces Ruby Red grapefruit juice
6 ounces gin
6 edible flower blossoms (optional;

1. Combine 6 ounces Lillet, 6 ounces grapefruit juice, 3 ounces gin, and ice in a cocktail shaker. Shake until well chilled. Strain and divide cocktail among 3 stemmed cocktail glasses, such as Champagne coupes. Repeat.

2. Garnish with flowers. Serve immediately.