Lillet is an aperitif wine from Bordeaux, created in 1887 by the Brothers Lillet. It was part of a whole fruit-and-herbed flavored quinine-based cocktail wines movement. The original, Kina Lillet, was apparently very bitter, but the quinine content was only reduced as recently as 1985.
Kina Lillet was the basis of Bond's tribute to Vesper Lynd, when he finally names his libation for her.
"A dry martini," [Bond] said. "One. In a deep champagne goblet."
"Just a moment. Three measures of Gordon's, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet. Shake it very well until it's ice-cold, then add a large thin slice of lemon peel. Got it?"
"Certainly, monsieur." The barman seemed pleased with the idea.
"Gosh, that's certainly a drink," said Leiter.
Bond laughed. "When I'm...er...concentrating," he explained, "I never have more than one drink before dinner. But I do like that one to be large and very strong and very cold and very well-made. I hate small portions of anything, particularly when they taste bad. This drink's my own invention. I'm going to patent it when I can think of a good name."
-Ian Fleming, Casino Royale
The modern Lillet (no longer Kina) is bitter enough for my taste. It is tangy and thicker than dinner wines, and to be served well chilled.
But what I like most about it is a sentiment on the label:
"It can be enjoyed anywhere, on any occasion; however it is perfect for those special times when day turns to evening and evening turns to night!" [bold emphasis theirs]
A specific wine for a specific day part. I love the idea of marking the transition from the day--with its toils and cares--to evening, and evening to night--with all the possibilities that await there, as the French soul knows very well.