Skip to Content

15 Most Suitable Substitutes for Lillet Blanc in a Cocktail

The most suitable substitutes for Lillet Blanc are St Germain, vermouth, Saler’s Aperitif, and Kina Lillet. Others include Dubonnet, Reserve Jean de Lillet, and dry sherry. You could also use Amaro Angeleno, Swedish Punsch, or Cocchi Americano. 

In this article, I’ll explain why these alternatives make excellent substitutes and discuss their composition and how they stand against Lillet Blanc. Let’s get started! 

Several bottles of lillet blanc

1. St Germain

St Germain is a liqueur, not a wine, like Lillet Blanc. However, they both have similar alcohol content, and St Germain is made from elderflower extract indigenous to the French Alps. 

Once the flowers are macerated, they’re mixed with sugars, giving the liqueur a distinct floral taste and aroma rather than a fruity one, as in Lillet Blanc. St Germain is also slightly sweeter than Lillet but can easily be used in its place by adjusting the amount added to cocktails. 

2. Dubonnet

Dubonnet was one of Queen Elizabeth II’s favorite drinks, and for good reason. It’s a premium quality sweet wine made from cane sugar, fortified herbs, cinchona bark, and quinine and is best enjoyed chilled. 

It’s slightly sweeter than Lillet, and if you’re using it for making cocktails, you might have to adjust the amount to acquire the perfect taste. If your cocktail requires a bitter kick, you can incorporate an orange peel into your recipe. 

Dubonnet comes in French and American varieties, the French version having around 15% alcohol by volume and the American recipe about 19%. That said, both varieties make an excellent substitute for Lillet Blanc. 

3. Cocchi Americano

Of the drinks mentioned in this list, Cocchi Americano resembles Lillet Blanc’s profile most closely. This is mainly because its recipe contains citrus peel and is ideal for cocktails. 

Cocchi Americano is an Italian wine aperitif and is much more bitter than Lillet Blanc. When using it in cocktails simply adjust the amount and consider balancing the bitter with sweet additives like fruit juices or syrups. 

4. Vermouth

Vermouth emulates the taste of Lillet Blanc perfectly because some varieties have almost the same ingredients. There are plenty of Italian and French vermouth options, and most range from sweet to dry. 

  • Sweet vermouth: This variant has comparatively higher sugar content and is sweeter than your regular Lillet Blanc. Using this in cocktails will require extra orange bitters to compensate for the sweetness. 
  • Dry vermouth: With its lower sugar content, French vermouth is the perfect ingredient for a martini. If you’re preparing a sweeter cocktail, consider adding a little syrup or fruit juice to compensate. 

Mancino Bianco Ambrato is an excellent vermouth substitute for Lillet Blanc because it has similar ingredients and incorporates citrus liqueurs in the recipe, delivering a sweet-bitter taste. 

5. Reserve Jean De Lillet

Although somewhat limited in supply, Reserved Jean De Lillet is quite similar to Lillet Blanc and originates from France. Like Lillet Blanc, it contains orange liqueur, sweet orange peel from Spain, and bitter orange peel from Haiti. It’s also aged in a similar way to Lillet and provides a bitter kick to a cocktail.  

6. Kina L’Avion D’ Or

Kina L’Avion D’ Or is an excellent substitute for Lillet Blanc since it’s made from white wine. It also contains orange peel, cinchona bark, wormwood, and other spices. The taste has a little more bitterness, but it works amazingly well with cocktails. 

Although it’s a fantastic addition to vesper and twentieth-century cocktails, you can still use it on its own with ice and soda. Kina L’Avion D’ Or is French and has a deep golden color. 

7. Salers Aperitif

This old French aperitif is great for drinking on the rocks and with a twist of lemon. As one of the oldest French liqueurs, it has an impressive reputation. Some of its ingredients include wild butter herb and Gentiana Lutea roots.

These signature ingredients give it an earthy taste and a distinct bitter-sweet flavor. If you decide to use it as a base for your cocktail, remember that it has a higher alcohol content which can make your cocktail dryer and provide a strong buzz. 

8. Angostura Orange Bitter

If you’re considering using this orange bitter for your cocktail, I recommend using sweet white vermouth as the base because Angostura Orange Bitter is approximately 47% ABV and has a lot of kick. It also has cardamom and coriander flavors that might throw off your drink’s profile if used alone. 

Angostura Orange Bitters pairs well with sweet vermouth in a cocktail. It will add the bitterness that vermouth lacks and flavor with its herbs, spices, and sun-ripened Caribbean oranges.

9. Swedish Punsch

Swedish Punsch is one of the most famous liqueurs in Scandinavia. It substitutes for Lillet Blanc beautifully and can be used in many cocktails. Its ingredients include the following:

  • Batavia arrack
  • Jamaican rum
  • Citrus 
  • Various spices 
  • Water
  • Tea
  • Sugar

There are numerous flavors available for Swedish Punsch, depending on the brand. Each brand and flavor differ in taste, and with a little trial and error, you can replicate the results achieved with Lillet Blanc. 

10. Dry Sherry

Dry Sherry is one of the most easily available substitutes for Lillet Blanc. It’s usually inexpensive, and you can easily use it in cocktails to give them a crisp dry flavor. Although dry sherry has many variants depending on the brand and aging process, it’s easy to find one you like for cocktails.

This Lillet Blanc substitute has palomino grapes as one of its main ingredients and is low in sugar. This delivers a dry flavor profile, making it a popular ingredient for many cocktails. 

11. Amaro Angeleno

After discussing many European substitutes, it makes sense to add a good old American liqueur made in Los Angeles. This California liqueur uses unaged brandy, pinot grigio, and orange peel infused with herbs like thyme, gentian, and verbena. These ingredients combine to make this liqueur a wonderful substitute for Lillet Blanc. 

You can enjoy Amaro Angeleno on its own as an aperitif or a digestif. Alternatively, you can use it as a base for your cocktails because it has a strong citrus flavor with a hint of smooth lemon. 

12. Kina Lillet

Kina Lillet has been around since the 19th century, and the secret recipe has replaced the use of quinine with herbal extracts. This French aperitif is made from a blend of wines and liqueurs.

Kina Lillet has a bitter-sweet taste which makes it a perfect substitute for Lillet Blanc. You can drink it with some soda water or on its own over ice as an aperitif. This drink will do the trick if you’re short on Lillet Blanc. 

13. Creme De Violette

Creme de Violette is a popular liqueur and differs in its alcohol strength, depending on your chosen brand. It combines a brandy base with natural or artificial violet flower flavor and color, which gives it a sweet floral aroma and taste profile. 

If you have a bottle of Creme De Violette with a higher alcohol content, be sure to adjust the quantity of the liqueur to maintain the flavor of your cocktail and keep it as close to Lillet Blanc as possible. 

14. Italicus Rosolio Di Bergamotto

I personally call this liqueur the young gun since it’s a relatively younger competitor. Italicus Rosolio Di Bergamotto was originally created by an Italian bartender in 2015 using a family recipe, and the drink has gained quite a lot of popularity ever since. 

It has an alcohol base with a mix of citrus and herbs, giving it a delightful floral aroma. The taste delivers a bitter and sweet note, making it the perfect substitute for Lillet Blanc. I highly recommend giving the young gun a shot.

15. Parfait Amour

Parfait Amour, in my opinion, is the most fun alternative to Lillet Blanc. Because of its royal purple color, it gives any cocktail a personality of its own. It has a citrus and floral flavor profile, consisting of the following: 

  • Rose petals
  • Violets
  • Orange peel
  • Vanilla extract
  • Almonds

This is a liqueur that has both looks and taste. With its rosy vanilla and citrus flavor, it is a great alternative to Lillet Blanc and will make your cocktail not only smell and look great but also taste exceptional. You can enjoy Parfait Amour neat or on the rocks and still be able to appreciate the sophistication with which it’s made. 

What Is Lillet Blanc Made Of?

Mulled wine with splashes and flying ingredients on a dark background

Lillet Blanc is made of Bordeaux wine, fruit infusions, sweet orange peels from Spain, and bitter green orange peel from Haiti. It also consists of sugar, cinchona infusions, and additives to enhance the flavor. Its ABV level is typically 17%.

Is Lillet Blanc Similar to Vermouth?

Lillet Blanc is similar to vermouth. They both have a wine base and are fortified with up to 19% alcohol. Both beverages are used as an aperitif and have been around for a long time. However, unlike vermouth, Lillet Blanc contains liqueurs but doesn’t contain wormwood.

Thanks for reading!

For more, check out 15 Best Substitutes For Alcoholic Beverages in Recipes.