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Greetings from the other side of DC and yet another year of graduate school. Somehow I could continuously update during my first year of law school, but library school — otherwise known as the easy graduate program I’m in — totally escaped me, and there went a year. A thanks to all of my readers and Pinterest Pins who have stayed faithful (or discovered me on Google) while I strayed to graduate school, Kansas, Florida, and DC and picked up my life after my apartment building caught fire. Y’all have been very sweet, while I have been very distracted. Thank you, and on to the real reason you’re here: The Reverse Martini.

Cocktail Urban legend has this as Julia Child’s favorite cocktail. I’ve read My Life in France, As Always, Julia, and Mastering the Art of French Cooking and have yet to find evidence of its truthfulness. But, we never let the truth get in the way of a good story, so onward and upward.

Julia Child is purported to have this as her favorite cocktail. She would drink it while cooking and would serve it with appetizers. Her reason was that (1) it tasted good and (2) the drink with stimulate the appetite. Julia Child, as someone intimately concerned with food, would have thought this drink balanced nicely without intoxicating the drinker before the mail. As is so far the case with Mrs. Child, I have yet to find her wrong.

Reverse Martini

3 oz Lillet
3/4 oz Hendricks Gin
2 dashes orange bitters.

Shake over ice and strain into a martini class.


Lillet is a relative of vermouth, so if you have had vermouth or the perfect than you have an idea of that this drink tastes like. If you have not had either, than it is difficult to describe the flavor, as it is unlike most other food or drink I have otherwise tasted. As an ingredient, vermouth and lillet are mysteries. Few people know all of the ingredients, and there are perhaps to many to guess.

The drink runs counter to the current American tradition of relying on the sweet and not the savory, so it is a gift to American cocktail culture, especially those who have drinks before dinner. Also, don’t pay attention to the drink that Martha Stewart calls a reverse martini in Martha Stewart’s Hors d’Oeuvres Handbook. That’s a wet martini, not a reverse martini.

The Lillet is sharp but clean and even with a decent gin the aftertaste fades quickly. While the Lillet recipe calls for Hendricks gin, I have found Beef Eater works just as well. Remember the orange bitters, or you will be doing yourself a disservice.

This drink should be a stand by for anyone who serves hors d’oeuvres before dinner. Don’t take my work for it. Have faith in Julia Child.


$22 Lillet Rouge for a 750 mL bottle
$18 Beefeater gin for a 750 mL bottle OR
$35 Hendricks Gin for a 750 mL bottle
$6 Orange Bitters

$46 if made with Beefeater Gin
$63 if made with Hendricks Gin

Cost per Drinks
$2.57 for Lilet
$0.53 for Beefeater Gin
$1.03 for Hendricks gin
$0.01 for Orange Bitters

$3.11/drink if made with Beefeater Gin.
$3.61/drink if made with Hendricks Gin

As always, happy and safe drinking.