September marks the start of La Vendange, or grape harvest, the most important weeks of the year for winemakers across France. In recognition of the hard work being done across the channel, we invite you to raise a glass of our special cocktail this month, the Lillet Rosé Martini.

You’d be forgiven for being unfamiliar with Lillet, a style of wine-based apéritif that draws comparisons with Vermouth. Founded in 1872 by wine merchants and brothers Paul and Raymond, Lillet is made in the small village of Podensac, just south of the prestigious wine region of Bordeaux. Maison Lillet quickly won the hearts of French wine lovers with its first and only apéritif from Bordeaux, and by the 1920s Lillet was ‘en vogue’ all over the world.

Known as an aromatised wine, (the ancient origins of which lie in ‘medicinal’ purposes), Lillet is made with a blend of carefully selected Bordeaux wines; these are fortified with alcohol and infused with fruit macerations by the cellar master, using methods passed down since the 19th century. The result is three different styles of apéritif, a red, a white and a rosé, each with their own distinct character and each served in an elegant bottle emblazoned simply with the instructions to ‘servir très frais’.

Our September cocktail makes this famous apéritif the star. We shake a generous measure of Lillet Rosé with gin, a squeeze of lemon, and a drizzle of raspberry syrup and then strain into a Martini glass, garnishing with fresh, seasonal raspberries. Not a classic martini, but a drink that pays homage to perhaps the most iconic cocktail of the 20th century.

The history of the classic Martini dates back to the late 1800s, but it was the film stars of the 1950s that made it the apéritif du jour. Of course, the likes of Humphrey Bogart and Marlene Dietrich assisted with its rise in popularity, but it was a certain British spy that elevated this drink to legendary status.

Film buffs will know that 007’s original refreshment of choice was not in fact a vodka martini, but the Vesper - a drink for which Ian Fleming included a recipe in the first James Bond novel, Casino Royale. The Vesper includes, alongside gin and vodka, Kina Lillet, the name by which the original Lillet recipe was known.

So, this September, instead of dreaming of Bond’s infamous ‘Vesper’, opt for Côte’s Lillet Rosé Martini, for something a little less deadly, but certainly as sophisticated.

And of course, you can be sure that it will be served shaken, not stirred, and très très frais.