11 Best Lillet Blanc Substitutes in 2024

March 20, 2024 by The Mixer Team

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No Lillet Blanc in your cupboard for an aperitif cocktail recipe you want to make? Can’t find it at the store? Don’t worry! We’ve listed the top Lillet Blanc substitutes soon to become your mixology BFFs when you’re all out of the French aperitif. Plus, discover how these ingredients can add a unique touch to your cocktail creations. 

Whether you like traditional aromas like dry sherry and white vermouth or want a taste of Scandinavia with Swedish Punsch, you’ll find new trusted Lillet Blanc substitutes for your parties and cocktail nights. 

What is Lillet Blanc?   

A Lillet Blanc Spritz served with orange and rosemary garnish, served in a modern kitchen

Lillet Blanc is a French aperitif consisting of 85% Sémillon and Sauvignon Blanc and 15% fruit liqueurs. Created in 1887 by the Lillet brothers, its original recipe contained a secret blend of fortified wine and quinine. In 1986, the recipe was altered to make a lighter, sweeter and less bitter version with less quinine.  

The Lillet Blanc we enjoy today is sweet with a soft mouthfeel and a crisp finish. You can taste notes of honey, mango, candied orange peel, dandelions, subtle pine, and crushed mint. Due to its versatile flavor profile, it’s become a key ingredient in popular cocktails like the Corpse Reviver nº2, Vesper Martini and 20th Century. You can also sip it solo on the rocks with a slice of orange or combine it with soda water for a refreshing Lillet Spritz. 

Best Lillet Blanc substitutes

1. OUR TOP PICK:  Cinzano Bianco (sweet white vermouth)

Friends sitting around a table enjoying Cinzano Vermouth cocktails and snacks

Lillet Blanc and sweet white vermouth have many flavor notes in common and can be interchanged in cocktail recipes and as aperitifs. We love Cinzano Bianco as a Lillet Blanc substitute due to its hints of vanilla bean and cinnamon that combine for a perfect bittersweet taste. 

Cinzano Bianco stands out as a versatile and sophisticated choice in the realm of cocktail ingredients, renowned for its balanced flavor profile and distinct botanical notes. Crafted with a blend of carefully selected herbs and spices, this time-honored vermouth offers a delicate yet flavorful addition to a myriad of cocktails. Its delicate aroma and decided sweetness add depth and complexity to mixed drinks, making it an ideal choice for both classic and contemporary cocktail recipes. 

One of the most compelling aspects of Cinzano Bianco is its ability to seamlessly integrate into a wide array of cocktails, enhancing the overall drinking experience with its nuanced flavors. Its versatility knows no bounds, effortlessly complementing a variety of spirits and mixers to create cocktails that are both sophisticated and approachable. 

Moreover, Cinzano Bianco serves as a worthy substitute for Lillet Blanc, offering a comparable flavor profile that seamlessly transitions into countless cocktail recipes. With its similar botanical composition and balanced sweetness, Cinzano Bianco provides mixologists with a reliable alternative to Lillet Blanc, allowing them to create exceptional cocktails without compromising on taste or quality.  

Whether enjoyed on its own or as part of a meticulously crafted cocktail, Cinzano Bianco embodies the timeless elegance and unparalleled flavor that cocktail enthusiasts crave. 

Other Lillet Blanc substitutes

  1. Elderflower liqueur  
  2. Cocchi Americano 
  3. Amaro Averna  
  4. Swedish Punsch  
  5. Dry sherry  
  6. Kina L’avion d’Or 
  7. Orange bitters  
  8. Salers Aperitif  
  9. Amaro Angeleno 
  10. Dubbonet

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Lillet Blanc is an extremely versatile liqueur, and you can find it in many classic and modern cocktails, including the Vesper Martini, Corpse Reviver nº2 and Lillet Spritz. 

There are three varieties of Lillet: Rosé, Blanc and Rouge. The difference in color and taste depends on the wine based used. Lillet Rosé calls for Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, and Semillon bases; Lillet Blanc is made from a blend of Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon; and finally, Lillet Rouge sticks to Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. 

No, Lillet Blanc is often mistaken as vermouth but it’s not, as it doesn’t contain wormwood (where the name vermouth comes from). That being said, Cinzano Vermouth Bianco makes an excellent substitute.

With Lillet Blanc you’re in for a treat: it has notes of orange peel, honey, passionfruit and a slight touch of pine. In terms of flavor, it has a light, sweet start and a dry finish.  

Yes, you can substitute dry vermouth for Lillet as a flavorful aperitif or in cocktails. Vermouth contains less sugar so you might want to add some sugar syrup when using it. 

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