Lillet Blanc is a French aperitif wine that’s worth the hype! Its crisp, clean flavor makes it perfect for sipping in cocktails.

Lillet Blanc

What’s Lillet Blanc, and why is everyone obsessed with it? This French aperitif wine has caught on majorly in the past few years here in the US. Take one sip, and you’ll understand why its worth the hype. The flavor is crisp, floral and lightly sweet: incredibly refreshing with an intriguing botanical finish. It pairs well with club soda for the best bubbly, hydrating drinks: and it features in a few classic cocktails, too. We always stock a bottle of Lillet in our refrigerator: here’s why!

What is Lillet Blanc?

Lillet Blanc is a French aromatized wine: a white wine infused with fruits, herbs and other botanicals. It was originally known as Kina Lillet, invented in 1887 and flavored with quinine. Lillet Blanc replaced Kina in 1986 and has a lower quinine content. It’s become popular in bars and restaurants for its crisp, floral flavor.

Lillet is actually a family of French aromatized wines. There are are several types of Lillet made of different wines: Lillet Blanc, Lillet Rosé and Lillet Rouge. What’s an aromatized wine? It’s a wine that’s fortified with brandy and then infused with herbs, spices, fruit or other botanicals. It’s a type of fortified wine like vermouth, but fortified wines have no extra flavors added.

How to pronounce Lillet Blanc? It’s French, so say it “Li-lay Blahnk.” 

What does Lillet Blanc taste like?

Lillet Blanc is crisp and light, with subtle floral, herbal and citrus notes. It tastes like a semi-sweet white vermouth with intriguing herbal notes on the finish. It’s light, refreshing, and incredibly versatile for mixing into cocktails.

How much alcohol is in Lillet Blanc? It is 17% ABV (alcohol by volume), so it has a mid-range alcohol content that’s similar to wine.

Are there any Lillet Blanc substitutes? You can substitute Cocchi Americano, but it’s much sweeter (it’s made with moscato wine). For a DIY substitute, use white vermouth with a dash of cocktail bitters to add the herbal finish.

Why we like it

Bartenders are obsessed with Lillet Blanc, and so are we! The crisp, floral flavor is so refreshing and perfect for mixing into spritzes, spritzers, or a G&T. In the summer, we grab a bottle and pour it into herb-stuffed wine glasses with club soda: no need to measure! It’s one of our favorite types of alcohol because it’s so easy to drink: a no-frills drink solution.

How much does it cost?

Compared to other liquors, Lillet Blanc is low-priced. A 750 ml bottle costs about $20.

There are so many great cocktails to make with this aperitif! We love it in a spritzer, but there’s also a few classic cocktails that use it. Here are a few drinks to try:

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Vesper martini

Vesper (& More Lillet Blanc Cocktails!)


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The classy Vesper martini is cool, crisp and herbal: an intriguing spin that’s shaken, not stirred! Invented by James Bond, it’s become a true classic.


Ingredients

Scale
  • 1 ½ ounces* gin
  • ½ ounce vodka
  • ¼ ounce Lillet Blanc

Instructions

  1. Place the gin, vodka, and Lillet Blanc into a cocktail shaker and fill it with ice. Shake until cold.
  2. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass.
  3. Use a knife to remove a 1″ wide strip of the lemon peel. Squeeze the lemon peel into the drink to release the oils. Gently run the peel around the edge of the glass, then place it in the glass and serve.

Notes

*To convert to tablespoons, 1 ounce = 2 tablespoons

  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Lillet Blanc

More cocktail guides

Need more liquor guides? We’ve got them! Here’s all you need to know about home bartending:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

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