HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >


leelay or lillette?

Ive had people in France tell me it is pronounced both ways and appear quite certain that their way was the correct one. Anyone have a definitive answer?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I've only ever heard it pronounced leelay - love Lillet Blanc w/ a twist of lime, though I know orange is traditional.

    1. I've heared leelay and leellay and I say leellay but I'm not expert.

      1. Lillet.

        Oh, sorry -- it's leel-lay

        1. I was just in Paris and ordered this for the first time- loved it and was trying to find out more so I came to this website. So, at Le Tour D'Argent they say "Lillette" and when I checked with a local he also pronounced it this way...

          1 Reply
          1. re: nccarlisle

            Were you speaking English with the waiters at TdA or French?

          2. Wow. zin1953 versus Tour D'Argent. I don't know what to believe.

            But standard French pronounciation would side with zin, no?

            1 Reply
            1. re: mhoffman

              For it to be pronounced lil-let (as in "Let it be"), it would have to be spelled "Lilette" OR "Lillët" (as in Moët & Chandon is properly pronouced "Moe" [as in the Three Stooges] and "ette" [as in someone's dinette set]), but standard French pronouncation -- and the way I've always heard it pronounced in France -- is "lil-lay."

              C'est la vie . . .


            2. If you google "lillet pronounced" I only see it pronounced as leelay, which is how I've always understood it to be.

              I love lillet (leelay)! I drink it on the rocks w/ fresh lemon juice, a tsp or two of simple syrup and a splash of soda. Run a twist around the rim and enjoy! It's called a lillet au citron.

              I had an amazing cocktail ($12 - it better be good) at a place on the waterfront in D.C. It was served in a martini glass and was made w/ tarragon-infused vodka, lemon juice, lillet & star anise. It was gorgeous!

              I'm not as big a fan of lillet rouge.

              3 Replies
              1. re: lynnlato

                One of my favorite aperetifs is very simple -- white Lillet on the rocks with an orange peel . . . flamed or not.

                1. re: zin1953

                  One of mine as well, though I prefer it chilled, no ice, and with lime - which I know is unorthodox.

                  Oops - didn't realize this was an old thread.

                  1. re: MMRuth

                    Hey, it's worth saying twice.

                    I mean, look at it this way -- it's a wine, and we've been on the Spirits board since last August! ;^)