HOME > Chowhound > Spirits >

lillet blanc

joshuaresnick Mar 6, 2009 06:35 AM

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

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. s
    Steve_K RE: joshuaresnick Mar 6, 2009 07:07 AM

    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. MC Slim JB RE: joshuaresnick Mar 6, 2009 10:44 AM

      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
        mrgrotto RE: MC Slim JB Mar 7, 2009 05:27 AM


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

        1. re: mrgrotto
          MC Slim JB RE: mrgrotto Mar 7, 2009 08:06 AM

          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
            mrgrotto RE: MC Slim JB Mar 7, 2009 09:33 AM

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

          2. re: mrgrotto
            joshuaresnick RE: mrgrotto Mar 9, 2009 08:51 AM

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

            1. re: joshuaresnick
              mrgrotto RE: joshuaresnick Mar 9, 2009 10:08 AM


              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
                MC Slim JB RE: joshuaresnick Mar 10, 2009 10:03 AM

                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
                  joshuaresnick RE: MC Slim JB Mar 10, 2009 10:16 AM

                  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
                    TroyTempest RE: joshuaresnick Mar 12, 2009 07:18 AM

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

                    1. re: TroyTempest
                      joshuaresnick RE: TroyTempest Mar 13, 2009 11:44 AM

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

                    2. re: joshuaresnick
                      thew RE: joshuaresnick Mar 17, 2009 03:12 PM

                      why would grapes or a grape product require certification?

                      1. re: thew
                        joshuaresnick RE: thew Mar 18, 2009 08:23 AM

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

                  2. re: joshuaresnick
                    BobB RE: joshuaresnick Mar 13, 2009 12:59 PM

                    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
                      davis_sq_pro RE: BobB Mar 14, 2009 12:35 PM

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

              2. barleywino RE: joshuaresnick Mar 7, 2009 10:28 AM

                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
                  bob96 RE: barleywino Mar 7, 2009 10:02 PM

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

                  1. re: barleywino
                    Icantread RE: barleywino Mar 16, 2009 09:26 AM

                    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
                      barleywino RE: Icantread Mar 16, 2009 04:11 PM

                      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
                        Icantread RE: barleywino Mar 17, 2009 09:18 AM

                        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
                          joshuaresnick RE: barleywino Mar 17, 2009 01:21 PM

                          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
                            barleywino RE: joshuaresnick Mar 17, 2009 04:45 PM

                            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
                              barleywino RE: barleywino Mar 18, 2009 12:16 AM

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

                              1. re: barleywino
                                joshuaresnick RE: barleywino Mar 18, 2009 08:23 AM

                                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
                                  BobB RE: joshuaresnick Mar 18, 2009 10:41 AM

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

                                  1. re: BobB
                                    joshuaresnick RE: BobB Mar 19, 2009 11:02 AM

                                    Yes, but it's gross.

                                    1. re: joshuaresnick
                                      ed1066 RE: joshuaresnick Apr 1, 2009 07:18 PM

                                      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. k
                        katevali RE: joshuaresnick Apr 12, 2009 04:25 PM

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

                        Show Hidden Posts