Lillet Blanc

Lillet Blanc French Aperitif Wine ($21.99)


Poured on its own, Lillet Blanc shows a very clear, light straw color in the glass. Intriguing aromas offer a mix of fresh, dried, and stewed white fruit and orange peel, with a subtle hint of quinine, complex and hard to pick apart. That’s fine, it’s just as well to enjoy them as their scents entwine. Full-bodied flavors follow the nose, with faint sweetness cloaked by firm acidity, and a bitter edge of quinine that’s a little more apparent than in the nose but still far short of what you’ll find in a commercial quinine tonic. It’s brisk and refreshing, perfectly fine in the winter time despite its reputation as a summer drink. The label’s advice, Servir Très Frais (“serve very cold”) is not mandatory, although it definitely becomes more unctuous as it warms, and the bitter quinine edge and 17% alcoholic heat become more apparent then. U.S. importer: Pernod Ricard USA, NYC. (Jan. 14, 2021)

FOOD MATCH: As an aperitif it’s appropriate with snacks. Lillet’s Pinterest page offers a broad range of food companions, including all manner of sushi and salad-style hors d’oeuvres.

WHEN TO DRINK: It’s not really meant for cellaring, although it won’t die on the wine rack or, within a reasonable time, in the refrigerator.

My local price matches’s $22 average U.S. retail. Given that it keeps well in the fridge and will be available for cocktails and sipping for a while, it’s a reasonal price for this tasty aperitif. Some shops offer it for as low as $17, though, so if a few dollars matter, check and shop around.

“For drink recipes and cocktail ideas, visit us at,” the back label advises.

Check prices and find vendors for Lillet Blanc on

Follow this Wine-Searcher link to find listings for a wide variety of other styles of flavored spiced fruit wines.

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