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Mar 6, 2009 06:35 AM

lillet blanc

Any suggestions on what I can use in a cocktail in place of lillet blanc?

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  1. There's nothing really similar to LIllet Blanc, I would suggest you just buy a bottle and then you'll have some for the future as well as making your current cocktail properly.

    1. Don't be afraid to wander afield with aromatized wines in cocktails: the possibilities can be very interesting. Dry/sec/French vermouth or the sweeter blanc/bianco style of vermouth are both good substitutes for Lillet Blanc in cocktails, as is Dubonnet Blanc. Dolin makes an interesting dry as well as a blanc vermouth; I'm very fond of Vya Extra Dry as well. I'm still awaiting the arrival of the new/old formulation of Noilly Prat Dry.

      I've also used dry fortified white wines like white port and fino and manzanilla sherries, though they lack the botannical interest of a Lillet. Also consider using an unfortified dry white wine and then adding either a) dashes of a light-colored herbal liqueur like Yellow or Green Chartreuse, Benedictine or Becherovka; or b) a few drops of a non-potable bitters like Angostura, Angostura Orange, Peychaud's, the Fee Brothers line of bitters, and Regan's Orange #6. The world is your oyster!


      13 Replies
      1. re: MC Slim JB


        Although, out of curiosity, why don't you want to use Lillet Blanc?

        1. re: mrgrotto

          If you're asking me instead of the OP: I love Lillet Blanc, always keep a bottle around; we drink a lot of it as an apertif. I was just responding to the request for what might be used as a substitute. I'll guess that the OP has trouble finding it in his neighborhood.


          1. re: MC Slim JB

            Sorry. That was a +1 for you and a question for joshuaresnick.

          2. re: mrgrotto

            I don't use Lillet because it is not kosher.

            1. re: joshuaresnick


              Have you looked around online for recipes to make your own? I poked around for a minute and didn't see anything promising but there's probably a few approximations somewhere.

              1. re: joshuaresnick

                This is a question I hadn't considered before. Do you have a list you've compiled of kosher beer, wine, and spirits? Seems like that would be useful to make public. The first thing Google pointed me to was this: http://everything2.com/index.pl?node_...


                1. re: MC Slim JB

                  You don't need a list, you just need to keep one rule in mind:

                  Alcoholic beverages are considered kosher, without rabbinic certification, as long as they do not contain grapes. Products containing grapes require rabbinic certification.

                  1. re: joshuaresnick

                    wouldn't any Vermouth contain grapes then, since it is a wine?

                    1. re: TroyTempest

                      Yes, that is why Vermouth requires rabbinic certification to be considered kosher.

                    2. re: joshuaresnick

                      why would grapes or a grape product require certification?

                      1. re: thew

                        That's a more complicated discussion than I'm willing to get into on chowhound. google it.

                  2. re: joshuaresnick

                    There was a discussion on kosher vermouth last year at http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/356617

                    Seems like there are several available in Israel, the trick is finding them here in the States.

                    1. re: BobB

                      Could be a fun DIY project to make your own...

              2. not sure what sort of cocktail you have in mind, but you might consider St Germain (in reduced quantities since it's sweeter)...another option might be Belle de Brillet with a drop of Canton Ginger

                11 Replies
                1. re: barleywino

                  A pineau des charentes works well in Lillet's stead. Or a Cinzano Bianco vermouth--slightly sweet and aromatic.

                  1. re: barleywino

                    I have not tried belle de brillet with or without Canton, but St Germain is way too sweet, even in lesser qualities. It's more of a floral lychee liqueur in taste than anything approximating vermouth or lillet.

                    1. re: Icantread

                      i totally agree with your description of St Germain but (depending on what cocktail the OP is thinking of) it may still work as a substitute for Lillet; the results may be different, but still good (or better perhaps). Unfortunately since all of these contain grapes, they would not suit the OP's needs. How about some sherry-like sake, such as Seiryo Kijoshu?

                      1. re: barleywino

                        oh I would agree that it would make for a tasty cocktail. St Germain is a great cordial in its own right.

                        1. re: barleywino

                          As the OP...you mentioned sherry-like sake as a potential sub. Do you think fino sherry would do? Is that too dry?

                          1. re: joshuaresnick

                            I would think of Seiryo Kijoshu as more like an oloroso sherry. Fino is drier than Lillet imo. Also sherries are grape based, so would not work for you, right? PS if you are looking for something a bit drier (and probably closer to Lillet) than Seiryo Kijoshu, you might consider Gekkakow vintage sake. although i would have mixed feelings about putting such premium sakes into a cocktail!

                            1. re: barleywino

                              PS. it's like adding foie gras to a burger: great for the burger, not so great for the foie

                              1. re: barleywino

                                To clarify, kosher grape products do exist, but they are harder to find. For instance, I can get kosher fino sherry, but I can't get kosher vermouth, so I only make fino martinis.

                                1. re: joshuaresnick

                                  The thread I referenced above indicates that Kedem makes kosher vermouth for sale in the US.

                                    1. re: joshuaresnick

                                      LOL. Joshua, you seem like a good candidate for making your own brand of vermouth! It seems like there would be a strong market for kosher, non-gross vermouth.

                      2. Would anyone have ideas for food to serve with Lillet Blanc?