- Understanding Lillet Blanc
- Factors to Consider in Choosing a Substitute For Lillet Blanc
- Why You Might Need a Substitute for Lillet Blanc
- List of Lillet Blanc Substitutes
- Lillet Blanc Fun Facts
- Our Favourite Lillet Blanc Cocktail Recipes!
- Frequently Asked Questions
|Replacement||Flavor Profile||Best Used In|
|Sweet White Vermouth||Sweet, floral, and herbal||Classic cocktails, such as Martinis|
|Kina L’Avion d’Or||Bitter, sweet, and citrus-forward||Aperitifs, Vespers, and Corpse Revivers|
|Cocchi Americana||Sweet, fruity, and slightly bitter||Negronis, Americanos, and Spritzes|
|St. Germain||Sweet, floral, and elderflower notes||French 75, Elderflower Collins, and Mojitos|
|Amaro Angeleno||Bitter, citrusy, and slightly sweet||Digestifs, Old Fashioneds, and Sours|
|Reserve Jean de Lillet||Rich, honeyed, and fruity||Sipping on its own, Vespers, and Martinis|
|Swedish Punsch||Sweet, spicy, and complex with a hint of smokiness||Tiki cocktails, Doctor Funk, and Diki-Diki|
|Salers Aperitif||Bitter, earthy, and vegetal||Aperitifs, Spritzes, and Boulevardiers|
|Angostura Orange Bitters||Citrusy, spicy, and slightly bitter||Classic cocktails, Old Fashioneds, and Sours|
At the end of a very long day of work, we want to enjoy a glass of Lillet blanc to unwind. Or, we head to the kitchen to prepare a fancy dinner using the liqueur!
Lillet blanc… Sounds fancy, doesn’t it? Well, tastes just as exquisite as it sounds! It’s a French aperitif white wine you can enjoy as a drink.
If ever you don’t have any of this particular wine around the supermarket or liquor store, then we’ve got you covered.
Check out our list of suitable Lillet blanc substitutes to enjoy as a drink or in your recipes!
One popular choice is Cocchi Americano, which has a similar citrusy flavor profile and can easily be swapped out for Lillet in most recipes.
Another option is a sweet white vermouth, such as Noilly Prat or Dolin, which can provide a similar herbaceous flavor.
Understanding Lillet Blanc
Lillet Blanc is a crisp and refreshing aperitif or an amazing addition to cocktails. (*)
What are the different kinds of Lillet drinks?
There are five kinds of Lillet drinks, but let’s take a look at the main four:
- Lillet Blanc has a crisp and slightly bitter taste with a hint of honey, spring flowers, and oranges. It’s golden in color with a floral and herbaceous aroma.
- Lillet Rouge has a robust character and is only mildly bitter, with a fruity flavor without being too sweet. It’s ruby in color with an aroma of ripe, dark fruits.
- Lillet Rose has a white wine flavor with just a hint of citrus and quinine. It’s rose in color with an aroma of orange blossom, berries, and citrus.
- Kina Lillet has a crisp and very bitter flavor, dry and less sweet than other Lillet drinks. It’s light golden in color and has a similar floral and herbaceous aroma as Lillet blanc.
What’s The Meaning of Aperitif?
Aperitif is an alcoholic beverage we are meant to drink before meals or alongside appetizers. It invigorates our appetites and opens our palates, just in time for the main course!
Factors to Consider in Choosing a Substitute For Lillet Blanc
When selecting a substitute for Lillet Blanc, it’s essential to consider a few factors.
First, evaluate the flavor profile you wish to achieve. Lillet Blanc offers a delicate balance of sweetness, citrus, and herbal notes, so you’ll want a substitute that can replicate or complement these characteristics.
Secondly, consider the purpose of Lillet Blanc in the cocktail recipe. Does it serve as the primary base or a supporting element?
This distinction will help you choose a substitute that maintains the drink’s intended structure and balance.
Why You Might Need a Substitute for Lillet Blanc
Lillet Blanc, as mentioned, is an aperitif that goes well with appetizers. However, we understand if it’s not readily available in your area.
While we can find Lillet blanc in liquor stores or well-stocked supermarkets, it’s not always ready to buy. Or, you’re in a pickle and can’t leave for the store, with a party starting in minutes!
Whatever the case is, there are numerous Lillet blanc substitutes to use, which still strike similar flavor notes. Try any of these alternatives to replace Lillet blanc with:
List of Lillet Blanc Substitutes
We recommend using the following replacements for Lillet Blanc in various cocktails and recipes. Each replacement has its unique flavor profile that can enhance or alter the taste of your drink.
Now let’s delve into each Lillet Blanc substitute and discover what they bring to the table:
1. Sweet White Vermouth
If you’re looking for a more familiar and known Lillet blanc, then we recommend sweet vermouth.
Sweet vermouth is made by infusion of botanicals into wine, which is then fortified with high-proof alcohol, usually unaged brandy. Sugar is also added to the drink, hence the name sweet vermouth.
You can find a variety of sweet white vermouth brands in liquor stores and supermarkets.
But, is Lillet Blanc like vermouth? When you combine sweet white vermouth with a bit of orange bitters, then you get a much closer taste to Lillet blanc.
If you want a more specific brand of sweet white vermouth, we highly recommend the Mancino Bianco Ambrato Vermouth. It’s a delicious and refreshing drink with floral and bittersweet flavors.
This drink is infused with almost 40 botanicals with hints of quinine, licorice, grapefruit, and sweet oranges.
You can drink the vermouth on the rocks, add it to Negroni or gin and tonic.
2. Kina L’Avion d’Or
L’Avion d’Or is a French aperitif classified as a Kina (Quinquina), created by Tempus Fugit. This liqueur was created for medical staff to administer quinine to needed soldiers, then became a popular beverage!
After that, more kina varieties were created with different combinations of ingredients, usually local to France’s specific regions.
L’Avion d’Or translates to “golden airplane,’ which is about Louis Bleriot, the first Frenchman to fly a monoplane across the English Channel in 1909.
The L’Avion d’Or is made with white wine combined with orange peel, cinchona bark, and wormwood. As a result, you get a drink with complex and slightly bitter flavors.
The drinks aroma is similar to quince and marmalade, tasting pleasant when drank alone. However, you can also use it to create cocktails looking for Lillet blanc, such as the Hot Bunny or Corpse.
L’Avion d’Or is an excellent substitute for Lillet blanc that you can use in a 1:1 ratio, but like Cocchi, it’s a bit more bitter. Please take that into account when adding it to your cocktails.
Note that Kina L’Avion d’Or might be less accessible than Lillet blanc, as you would usually find it in high-end bars and liquor stores. Furthermore, it’s more expensive! If you’re willing to spend more or have a bottle of this at home (lucky you!), then give it a try.
3. Cocchi Americana
Cocchi Americana is the closest Lillet blanc substitute you can get. It’s a famous Italian aperitif made from Moscato wine that’s been macerated with aromatic and flavorful ingredients such as orange peel, cinchona bark, gentian root, among other herbs and spices.
Because of its contents, Cocchi has complex flavors with herbal overtones and subtle sweetness. That said, it still has that strong hit of bitter flavors that hit the palate, much more than Lillet blanc offers.
If you love the refreshing cocktail Vesper, then we recommend using Cocchi to your bright and citrusy cocktail, making it have a kick with bitterness.
Fortunately, Cocchi is readily available in liquor stores across the USA. Alternatively, you can check online if virtual liquor stores sell the brand.
P.S. You pronounce this as “Coke-y” and not “Koch-y!”
Learn more: Cocchi Americano Substitute
4. St. Germain
You can find St. Germain in many bars worldwide, so it’s safe to say it’s easy to find bottles of this in well-stocked liquor stores. This is a French liqueur using fresh elderflowers, producing a drink with a wide range of flavors like tropical fruits, grapefruits, and pears.
St. Germain is sweeter, so it’s best for those who want a less bitter drink when looking for a Lillet blanc substitute. Furthermore, both St. Germain and Lillet blanc have similar color and alcohol content.
You can use St. Germain as a drink on its own or in cocktails that ask for Lillet blanc.
5. Amaro Angeleno
Amaro Angeleno is made in LA, USA, providing the orange and floral flavor notes and the usual bitter aftertaste as one would expect from amaro liqueur.
This drink is made with a combination of unaged Brandy and Pinot Grigio, which is then infused with herbs and citruses like gentian, thyme, and verbena. It has bright and floral flavors with orange notes and that rich, buttery texture, only revealing its bitter edge at the finish.
Amare Angeleno adds that attractive golden hue to cocktails, along with a smooth mouthfeel and citrus flavor that bring out the best in your drink.
We highly recommend this drink if you’re new to the bitter flavors of Amari and other cocktails or liqueurs. It’s also a good drink on its own as an aperitif or digestif.
While Amaro Angeleno is from Los Angeles, it isn’t produced on a wide scale compared to the other Lillet blanc substitutes here. It may be less accessible but more expensive than the Lillet blanc alternatives.
6. Reserve Jean de Lillet
If you are more interested in using limited-release products to replace Lillet blanc, then we suggest trying the Reserve Jean De Lillet.
It’s an aperitif and aged French Sauternes in French oak barrels, infused with orange peels and cinchona.
Reserve Jean de Lillet has a bitter and sharp finish, which is closer to Kina Lillet in flavor. However, this liqueur has only limited quantities, so it’s not readily available. It might even be harder to look for than Lillet blanc!
7. Swedish Punsch
Swedish Punsch is a famous liqueur around Finland and Sweden. Don’t mistake this with traditional punch, which many people like spiking at parties!
Punsch is created by combining spirits and liquids such as brandy with tea, sugar, and water. Flavors vary based on the brand, but the drink tastes complex with spicy and sweet flavor notes.
You can drink Punsch neat or in cocktails like the Guldkant.
8. Salers Aperitif
Salers is known to be one of the oldest French aperitifs, made in 1885 in the Massif Central, a region in France.
The drink is made by macerating neutral spirits with Gentiana Lutea roots, a wild and butter herb growing in Auvergne, France. It’s then rested and aged in Limousin oak barrels.
This drink has a bittersweet and earthy flavor with lemon citrus notes, described as a springy spirit with fennel fronds and intense vegetal flavors at the finish.
Note that Salers has a higher alcohol content compared to the other liqueurs listed so that it can make a Vesper or other cocktails dry and savory with a strong alcoholic kick!
9. Angostura Orange Bitters
If you need a simple fix, then opt for Angostura bitters. It emboldens any cocktail, especially a Lillet blanc-based Vesper. Just a few dases of these bitters will improve your drink’s flavors.
Granted, the cocktail won’t look as clean and pristine as expected, but everyone will love how it tastes.
Learn more: Bitter Substitute
Lillet Blanc Fun Facts
There is so much more to learn when it comes to Lillet blanc substitute! Check out these interesting facts about the liqueur:
- Lillet blanc is also sometimes referred to as Lillet blonde. It was invested in Bordeaux, France, by Paul and Raymond Lillet. They created Lillet blanc after combining white Bordeaux wine, orange peel liqueur, and quinine liqueur, which was then aged in oak vats.
- Lillet Blanc has a refreshing flavor, combining crisp, herbal, and floral notes. You get an excellent combination of sweet and sour from the blend of dry, white wine with orange peel bitters and quinine. Some people even say that the liqueur has a subtle grape, kiwi, or raisin flavor.
- You can enjoy Lillet blanc in so many ways, even drinking it on its own or the rocks. Personally, we like topping our Lillet blanc with a splash of club soda or tonic, with an orange or lemon wedge as garnish.
- Lillet blanc is excellent for adding gin and tonic or various cocktail recipes like Vesper, French Connection, or Old Etonian.
- There are five types of Lillet from the Lillet company. Other than lillet blanc, there is Lillet Dry, Rouge, Rose, and Kina Lillet.
- You can use Lillet blanc as a sweet vermouth substitute for martinis.
- If push comes to shove, then there are other last-minute substitutes you can use as a Lillet blanc substitute, such as grape juice, lemon juice, sparkling wine, or any other French wine.
Our Favourite Lillet Blanc Cocktail Recipes!
Frequently Asked Questions
Wait, we’ve got a lot more in store for you! Here are frequently asked questions about Lillet blanc to lessen any confusion you have about what Lillet blanc is and its purposes:
- Q: Can I completely replace Lillet Blanc with one of the substitutes mentioned?
- A: Yes, the substitutes listed can be used to replace Lillet Blanc in cocktail recipes, but keep in mind that they have their own unique flavors. Adjust the recipe accordingly to achieve the desired taste.
- Q: Where can I find Lillet Blanc substitutes?
- A: Lillet Blanc substitutes are available at well-stocked liquor stores, specialty beverage retailers, and online platforms that offer a wide selection of spirits and mixers.
- Q: Are Lillet Blanc substitutes only used in cocktails?
- A: While Lillet Blanc substitutes are primarily used in cocktails, they can also be enjoyed on their own or mixed with other non-alcoholic beverages to create refreshing mocktails.
- Q: Can I combine different Lillet Blanc substitutes in a single cocktail?
- A: Absolutely! Mixing different substitutes can add complexity and layers of flavors to your cocktails. Don’t be afraid to experiment and find unique combinations that suit your taste preferences.
- Q: Are there non-alcoholic alternatives to Lillet Blanc?
- A: Yes, there are non-alcoholic aperitif options available that can mimic some of the flavor profiles found in Lillet Blanc. These alternatives are often crafted using botanicals, herbs, and fruits to provide a similar aromatic experience without the alcohol content.
Wrapping It Up
While Lillet Blanc is a beloved ingredient in the world of mixology, there are numerous alternatives that can serve as suitable substitutes. Cocchi Americano, Dubonnet Blanc, Lillet Rouge, Bonal Gentiane Quina, Byrrh Grand Quinquina, Noilly Prat Extra Dry, Dolin Blanc Vermouth, Suze, and Punt e Mes offer a range of flavors, from sweet and citrusy to bitter and herbal.
By understanding their characteristics and experimenting with different combinations, you can elevate your cocktail creations and craft unique flavor profiles that suit your preferences and delight your guests.