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Lillet Apéritif Tasting: Blanc, Rosé & Rouge

Author: Posted on: February 11, 2012 at 9:56 am

Think Lillet, and you’re likely to recall the James Bond scene from Casino Royale where he orders a martini, “three measures of Gordon’s; one of vodka; half a measure of Kina Lillet”.

Lillet is an aperitif wine from the village of Podensac, south of Bordeaux with a history dates back to 1872 when Paul and Raymond Lillet founded Maison Lillet Frères.

LilletLillet Blanc is arguably the most famous of the range, a dry-style aperitif which is pale straw in colour, with citrus tones and herbal notes. Made from a blend of Muscatelle, Sémillon, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, the wine is combined with fruit liqueurs that have a base of sweet oranges from Valencia in Spain, green oranges from Morocco and Tunisia, bitter oranges from Haiti and cinchona bark (quinine) from the rainforest in the Peruvian Andes. The wine blend is aged for one year in oak casks.

Lillet Rosé is a blend of wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillion grapes using the same liqueur base as Lillet Blanc. Made in rosé style, with a short fermentation on the skins, the wine is also aged for one year in oak casks. Lovers of rosé wine will enjoy this dry style aperitif on ice.

Lillet Rouge is made from the same blend of wines as Lillet Rosé (Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon grapes) combined with the fruit liqueurs and cinchona bark. It has notes of ripe dark fruits and tannins which give it a mild bitterness similar to Italian-style aperitifs and its more robust character.

The range of Lillet is best enjoyed very chilled on ice with a slice of citrus. Be like James Bond, and use Lillet Blanc in a Vesper Martini. Or, if you feel like a fiesta, try Lillet Rouge in a Sangria or Lillet Cocktails.

Lillet Rouge Sangria / L’espagnole for One
3 parts Lillet Rouge
½ part fresh lime juice
Fresh juice of choice (berries, sliced apples, grapes, orange)
Lemon-lime soda

Build the first three ingredients over ice in a wine or Collins glass and stir. Top with lemon-lime soda and garnish with orange slice.


Corinne is the founder and editor of Gourmantic. An avid scribe, she has taken pen to paper since the age of five. Her repertoire includes long works of fiction, short stories and travelogues.

She is a winner of the GT travel writing competition, has judged the Australasian Whisky Awards for 2013 and several cocktail competitions. She is also named in the Australian Bartender Most Influential List for 2013.

This article is posted on Gourmantic.com. All rights reserved. Copyright © 2014

Lillet Apéritif Tasting: Blanc, Rosé & Rouge was last modified: May 5th, 2014 by Corinne

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20 Comments to “Lillet Apéritif Tasting: Blanc, Rosé & Rouge”

  1. [...] Martini (Gordon’s gin, vodka, Lillet, lemon twist) This guy has good attention to detail but can be a bit of a control freak. He knows [...]

  2. [...] is a liqueur made with Armagnac. Floc de Gascogne is made by adding Armagnac to grape juice. Lillet Rouge is an interesting blend of wine, liqueurs, herbs and [...]

  3. [...] Smith (Press Club) used his own “Little Ten Liquor” and Lillet Blanc with gin in Our Little Secret drawing on flavours from goji berries, rosemary and rooibos tea in a [...]

  4. [...] Shogun is made with Tanqueray gin, Choya Umeshu Plum Wine, Amabuki Mugi, Lillet Blanc and Shiso Leaves -  three out of five ingredients I recognise, and comes served Martini [...]

  5. [...] order the Corpse Reviver # 2 (1895) ($18) made with a blend of Bombay gin, Cointreau, Lillet Blanc, fresh lemon juice and a dash of Absinthe which comes served in a chilled silver coupe glass. [...]

  6. [...] The tasting also included the range of apéritifs Lillet Blanc, Lillet Rosé and Lillet Rouge. [...]

  7. [...] in small batches, Ketel One Vodka makes a very good Martini with a couple of drops of dry Vermouth, Lillet Blanc or orange bitters. Known as a vodka that bartenders promote, it is one that we have enjoyed [...]

  8. [...] Fragolino. The music theme carries through with the Hendrix Experience made with Hendricks Gin, Lillet Blanc, Vasco’s chilli and clove syrup and [...]

  9. [...] like if it were French. This is a superb drink, perfectly balanced and made with Irish whiskey, Lillet Blanc, orange liqueur with orange [...]

  10. [...] de la Vigne ($19) is an elegant cocktail in comparison, made with Ciroc Vodka mixed with Lillet Blanc, Apricot Brandy, muddled grapes and served in a coupette with a slice of [...]

  11. [...] the world of Lillet and you’ll find a universe of the brand that embodies an era of elegance, femininity, style and [...]

  12. […] from a tiny Le Creuset pot as you sip on regional French aperitifs such as Floc de Gascogne ($9) or Lillet Blanc ($9). The wine list impresses with predominantly French wines with a biodynamic and natural […]

  13. […] profiles. Vermouth Flights ($19) with a selection of house pickles include three tasters with Lillet Blanc, Noilly Prat Dry and Regal Rouge […]

  14. […] Bar. His cocktail, No Money No Honey, was a mix of Glenmorangie Original with Amaro Montenegro, Lillet Blanc and a dash Angostura […]

  15. […] digestive . The bar keeps a modest selection of spirits with a focus on French spirits such as Lillet, Suze, Chartreuse and Citadelle […]

  16. […] Royale in 1953. “Three measures of Gordon’s, one of vodka, half a measure of Kina Lillet (Lillet Blanc). Shake it very well until it’s ice-cold, then add a large slice of lemon peel.” If you can’t […]

  17. […] West Winds Cutlass Gin with pink grapefruit infused Lillet Blanc, hickory-smoked apricot bitters, smoky […]

  18. […] light and spritzy drink that goes well as an aperitif, Lillet Vive is made with Lillet Blanc, a blend of Muscatelle, Sémillon, and Sauvignon Blanc grapes, with oranges and quinine and aged in […]

  19. […] Start with The Nordic Martini ($19), a delicious cocktail made with Aquavit stirred down with Lillet Rouge, house vermouth and apple wood smoke, garnished with toasted thyme and flamed orange zest. Savoury […]

  20. […] was the most sour and refreshing cocktail made with Galliano Vanilla, lemon Vodka, a touch of Lillet Blanc and coriander. The drink had a good fragrance and aroma that went well with the Moscardini Ubriachi, […]

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