Since Americans seem hell-bent on drinking martinis - or should I say "martinis" before dinner as an aperitif, and therefore stealing from me the ability to drink Lillet whenever the mood strikes me, I propose a comprimise: this psuedo martini, with Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka, and Lillet used in the place of vermouth. At least, in place of vermouth in the traditional sense, meaning two parts liquor to one part vermouth.
This may seem egotistical, but I credit myself - at least partially - for bringing Hangar One into the state of Ohio. After reading about their philosophy, and thinking it would be a good addition to Husband's bar, I e-mailed them to see where I could procure some for myself. A very nice woman e-mailed me back, saying that she hadn't realized that they were not yet shipping to Ohio, and that she would get right on it. Voila, a few months later, Hangar One started appearing slowly, and we are all the better for it.
Hangar One Lillet Aperitif
2 ounces Hangar One Mandarin Blossom Vodka
1 ounce Lillet
Large bit of orange zest, twisted, or a chunk of orange
Place ice in shaker, add Vodka and Lillet and shake vigorously. Pour into martini glass, add orange zest and drink.