Spirits & Wine

Lillet Cocktails

Enter the world of Lillet and you’ll find a universe of the brand that embodies an era of elegance, femininity, style and the joie de vivre. Retro stylish posters which are the works of artist Mathieu Forichon feature nostalgic and glamorous images of travel and women that convey the essence of Lillet.

Lillet is a French aperitif created by brothers Paul and Raymond Lillet in 1872 in the village of Podensac in Bordeaux. The drink is made from 85% wine and 15% liqueur with quinine and orange peel.


Lillet Cocktails at Brasserie Ananas

Before Ian Fleming’s James Bond made it popular in Casino Royale with the creation of the Vesper Martini, Lillet was used during World War II by the French to bribe American soldiers in return for sugar and basic ingredients. As such, Lillet became very well known in the USA, and later in 1973 led to the launch of Lillet Rouge for the US market.

But it is beyond doubt that the Bond movie re-popularised the brand. Sales soared at the time when Casino Royale was released, Audrey Delagarde, Lillet Area Manager explains during her visit to Sydney. The interest in the aperitif led to the creation of the Reverse Vesper Martini, swapping the 3 measures of gin with 3 measures of Lillet Blanc.

Audrey Delagarde, Lillet Area Manager

Lillet Blanc is made of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, and Lillet Rouge is made from Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, the former gives it the tannins. Both are aged in oak barrels for 6-12 months which also adds to more structure to the palate. Lillet Rosé is a blend of wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Semillion grapes using the same liqueur base as Lillet Blanc.

Lillet is best kept refrigerated and sealed with a wine air pump once opened. It should be used within three weeks so enjoy it chilled on ice or in any of the cocktails below.

L-R: Lillet Vive, Reverse Vesper Martini, Lillet Citrosé

Lillet Vive
5cl Lillet White
Tonic 10cl
Topping: 1 thin slice of cucumber, 1 strawberry, 1 sprig of mint.
Serve in glass with Lillet White 4-5 ice cubes.
Add the tonic and garnish with cucumber, strawberry and mint.

Reverse Vesper Martini
3 parts Lillet Blanc
2 parts vodka
0.5 part gin
Served with lemon peel

Lillet Citrosé
5cl Lillet Rosé
Lemonade 10cl
Sprig of mint, slice of lemon, ice.
Serve Lillet Rose in a glass with ice.
Add the lemonade.
Garnish with mint and lemon


This article is posted on Gourmantic.com - All rights reserved - Copyright © 2018.

About the author

Corinne Mossati

Corinne Mossati is the Founder/Editor of popular online magazine Gourmantic and Cocktails & Bars, a website dedicated to cocktail culture and the discerning drinker. She is named in Australian Bartender Magazine’s Top 100 Most Influential List since 2013, is a member of The Academy responsible for judging the World’s 50 Best Bars. She has also judged the inaugural Australasian Whisky Awards and various national cocktail competitions.