I was served a Lillet French Aperitif with an Orange Twist at a book club luncheon in January. Simple and refreshing, they were perfect with our French-themed meal.

You may not know what Lillet (pronounced Lee-LAY) is, and truth be told, I’d never heard of it until that day. When I asked for it at our liquor store, the guy behind the counter looked puzzled as he knew it as Lill-LET. I wasn’t certain I was pronouncing it correctly, but I guess I was! No matter how you say it, just make sure to try this lovely Lillet cocktail!

Lillet French Aperitif with an Orange Twist in a highball glass.

Why You Must Make

According to Food & Wine, Lillet is “an aperitif wine made from Bourdeaux grapes along with macerated fruit liqueurs, which gives it a pleasantly fruity, but not overly sweet, character. “

  • This light and refreshing Lillet French aperitif is made from Lillet Blanc (vs. Lillet Rose) and soda with a simple orange twist.
  • It’s perfect for summer garden parties, Mother’s Day brunch, and other warm-weather gatherings.
  • With a lighter alcohol content, this sparkling drink is also ideal for sipping by the pool, a girls’ night out, luncheons, showers, and more.
  • Made with 2/3 Lillet Blanc and 1/3 club soda, this Lillet cocktail is a breeze to prepare by the glass or pitcher.

Ingredient Notes

  • Lillet Blanc – Lillet Blanc is used in this cocktail, not Lillet Rouge. Call around to your liquor stores to see where it’s available.
  • Club Soda – Use your preferred brand. They all vary slightly in taste.
  • Orange Twist – Use a paring knife or a special peeling tool if you own one. If you use a lighter to singe the twist, it heats the citrus oil and adds a subtle smoky flavor.
A glass of Lillet French Aperitif with an Orange Twist.

How to Make

The process to make this cocktail recipe is super easy.

  1. Fill a “rocks” glass with ice.
  2. Add the Lillet Blanc and club soda.
  3. Stir, then add a twist of orange.

Helpful Tools:

Frequently Asked Questions

What Is Lillet?

Lillet is a French aperitif or a light alcoholic drink served before lunch or breakfast. It’s made of wine, brandy, fruit, and herbs. From the French village of Prodensac, there are two varieties: Lillet Blanc and Lillet Rouge.

Lillet Blanc is drier and made from white wine whereas Lillet Rough is made from red wine. Both can be used in this recipe, but Lillet Blanc was featured.

What is a Rocks Glass?

Often called an old-fashioned glass, a rocks glass is a short tumbler used to serve whiskey or cocktails such as an old fashioned.

How Do You Make an Orange Twist?

Carefully hold the orange in one hand and a paring knife in the other. Cut into the rind and remove a strip of the rind and just a bit of the pith (or white part) as you move the knife around the equator of the orange.
Repeat above and below your first slice to make more twists. Roll the strip into a spiral and drop it into the drink before serving.
If you’re daring, you can carefully burn your orange peel to express the natural oils and add a smoky undertone to the cocktail.

You May Also Like:

Last summer, the St. Germain Gin and Tonic was my new favorite cocktail. But this year, there’s a new kid in town. This Lillet Spritzer fits all my entertaining needs.

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Lillet French Aperitif with an Orange Twist - A refreshing cocktail of Lillet Blanc and soda

Lillet French Aperitif with an Orange Twist

Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Yield 1

A refreshing French aperitif featuring Lillet Blanc with soda and an orange twist.


  • 4 ounces Lillet Blanc
  • 4 ounces club soda
  • Orange twist


  1. Fill a rocks glass with ice. Add Lillet Blanc and then club soda. Stir to mix
  2. Serve with an orange twist.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 69Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 3mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 12gProtein: 1g


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