Perhaps you’ve heard of the name ‘Lillet Blanc,’ or maybe you have no idea of it at all.
However, everyone seems to be obsessed with it, so what is Lillet Blanc? This aperitif wine is a crowd-pleaser in the US as well as internationally.
One sip of this botanical beverage will catch your tastebuds’ attention and help you understand why it’s so well-loved.
The hydrating and bubbly drink can be made with various mixers to produce delectable cocktails.
We’ll learn all about this wine as we go forward in this article.
This includes what it exactly is, how to use it, and of course, the most looked-forward-to question—What does Lillet Blanc taste like?
What is Lillet Blanc?
Lillet Blanc is a type of Aperitif made in France by blending together a list of ingredients, including wine, botanicals, and marinated fruits, spices that are well stored in kegs made of oak to set and mature.
Similar to how two people have to develop a good connection before they marry each other, this storage process is a gradual way for the drink to develop and make the various flavors join hands in holy matrimony.
Ever wonder what Lillet Blanc smells like? Well, it smells like how you’d expect ‘France’ to smell.
It’s a white wine that’s made from botanicals like fruits, herbs, etc.
Since 1782, the beverage has been attached to bars and lounge areas as an elegant cocktail ingredient.
Back then, it was known as Kina Lillet, but after 1986, it was changed with the reduction of quinine (high-calorie tonic water), and so Kina Lillet was replaced by Lillet Blanc.
It has since become a popular floral flavor that’s immensely loved by the crowds in pubs and bars.
What Does Lillet Blanc Taste Like?
Lillet Blanc’s flavor profile would lean towards a refreshing white wine accompanied by tender honey sugariness and a compliment of graceful springtime flowers, oranges, and golden-dried raisins.
However, you will find a relatively slight bitterness that comes as an aftertaste and refuses to leave owing to ingredients like green apple, cinnamon, and other baking spices included in the recipe.
With regards to the scent, a glass of Lillet Blanc would fill the nose with its bright and warm aroma.
The honey mixed in with the botanical ingredients delivers a magnificent drink that can be served in many ways.
There is an artful, blossoming flower scent, a tad of herbal aroma, and citrus notes.
It’s not an actual vermouth, but its intriguing taste and aroma give it a vermouth finish.
The clear golden drink gives the mouth a soft feeling with a slight acidity.
To balance this acidity, the aftertaste will give you a dry yet refreshing feeling.
It contains a whopping 16g of carbs inside every 240 ml of Lillet Blanc, so this drink should be avoided if you’re on any kind of diet, particularly keto.
It does contain 0g of fat and no sodium either, so if you have high blood pressure and you’re prone to heart illnesses and strokes, then this drink would suit you well while you’re at the pub.
At just 20 dollars per 750 ml bottle, the Lillet Blanc is considered to be quite affordable.
Its taste is elegant and classy, yet it can be bought at lower prices than others of the same flavor profile, like Swedish Punsch, Kina L’Avion d’Or, Sweet white vermouth, etc.
How to Use Lillet Blanc?
Lillet Blanc is an aperitif wine that contains low alcohol content, and it tastes great when chilled.
It can be an option for blending together fine tonic water or soft drinks with.
You can keep it simple and squeeze a slice of your favorite citrus fruit into the glass and pour in the wine, or make the wine into cocktails.
Some of our favorite options are:
One of James Bond’s favorite cocktails was this drink because he was the one who invented it.
You just need a glass with some ice in it, an ounce of gin, the same measure for the Lillet and vodka, and a zest of orange.
Stir and swirl, give it a lemon peel, garnish and enjoy.
This cocktail dates back to as old as 1930 because of its strength and taste.
With an ounce of Lillet Blanc, gin, lemon juice, Cointreau, and absinthe, this cocktail will definitely bring you back from the grave.
A slightly harder-to-make cocktail is the combination of the two beautiful Lillet and Cognac.
Since Cognac is sweeter and smoother, the Lillet is well-balanced.
An ounce of both these drinks mixed in with a splash of Angostura, honey syrup, and an orange peel garnish will produce a delicious French Connection.
Other Types of Lillet
Kina Lillet was the first formula that was discontinued soon after.
This beverage had way more bitter notes than the now Lillet Blanc formula.
This was a result of the inclusion of cinchona bark into the ingredients list, as well as a reduction in quinine.
Once the 80s hit, this drink was no more, and in came Lillet Blanc.
Lillet Blanc itself is an aperitif wine that comprises ingredients such as grapes from Bordeaux and an elegant mixture of citrus liqueurs.
It’s a blossoming floral flavoring with a smoothness to it unlike any other.
Apart from these previously discussed variations, there are two others with the same volume of alcohol which is 17%.
Made up of wines from Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot & grapes from Semilion, this liqueur has the same base as Blanc, but it’s made in a unique rosé technique.
A brief fermentation style and oak cask storage allow it to be light, diluted red with subtle peach and sage flavor.
Rouge is made from an ingredient list containing herbs, fruits, and red wine.
It is an aperitif with a vermouth flair and is made to be sweeter than others.
It can be drunk chilled and straight or made into cocktails such as the Classic Martinez.
Lillet Blanc is a white wine that tastes amazing on the rocks but adds a couple of lemony or orangey twists, and you will be more than astonished.
Introduce this pairing to a good splash of fresh soda, and you will have a brilliant cocktail idea for a night in with your friends.
Its taste is a pleasant balance between acidic and sweet.
Similar to a vermouth, the sweetness and bitterness blend quite well effortlessly.
You can pick up a bottle at just $20 at your nearest wine shop and enjoy Lillet Blanc in a glass by yourself or with company.