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How Long Does Lillet Blanc Last? Preserving An Aromatic Apertif

How Long Does Lillet Blanc Last

Curious about the shelf life of Lillet Blancs? I got you! Being one of my favorite aperitifs, I observed and discovered its life span, to which I also consulted with experts for validation.

So, does it have a long shelf life? How long does Lillet Blanc last? Let me answer these questions and share key insights about this popular aperitif.

Lillet Blanc: How Long Does It Last?

Bottle of Lillet Blanc

Like most fortified wines, a Lillet drink can last about 2 to 5 years. While a fortified wine won’t go bad immediately, its flavors might diminish over time.

Like storing wines, to keep Lillet fresh, seal the bottle tightly and keep it in a cool, dark place (at room temperature), away from direct sunlight.

If you’re aiming for the best wine-sourced drink, I highly recommend enjoying it within the first year. It’s best to savor Lillet Blanc’s flavor while it’s at its peak, like you do with wine or vodka.

Lillet Blanc’s Shelf Life

Bottle of Lillet Blanc and a Glasses

Opened

Once opened, Lillet Blanc’s optimal shelf life spans a few weeks to three to six months. During this period, its flavors are at their best.

If stored in a cool, dark, dry spot with a tight seal, it can maintain its quality for up to a year, although some flavor changes might occur.

“Sip timely, savor fully: Lillet’s charm lingers when stored just right.” – Liquor Laboratory

So, I suggest sipping it within the first few months to ensure the most delightful experience!

Unopened

Unopened Lillet has a life span of approximately 2 to 5 years. Factors like its dryness or sweetness and whether it’s French or American-produced influence this span.

Usually, French dry Lillet lasts longer than its sweet American counterpart. Keep it sealed in its original decanter in a cool, dark place for optimal longevity.

So, whether you’re planning a soirée or saving it for a special occasion, you’ve got a few good years to enjoy your Lillet.

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Refrigerated

When refrigerated, it can remain delightful for several months. Storing it in the fridge is optimal as it slows oxidation and prevents spoilage.

Keep the bottle corked and upright to maintain freshness, away from heat and light. But remember, don’t store it in the refrigerator for over a year, as flavors can deteriorate.

Will Lillet Blanc Expire?

Lillet does expire, but this varies based on factors like its dryness or sweetness and place of production. Generally, dry French Lillet has a longer shelf life than the sweet US variant.

But while Lillet is a fortified wine, it isn’t perishable and doesn’t need refrigeration. Check the best-before date, usually within a year of purchase.

Thanks to its lower alcohol content and higher acidity (like dry vermouth), it outlasts regular wines. When stored right—cool, dry, and upright—it maintains quality for 2-3 months opened and 2-5 years unopened.

Should It Be Refrigerated?

Lillet Blanc on a Glass with Lime

This wine-sourced aperitif can be refrigerated, but not necessarily. While storing it requires some care, it’s a no-no for the freezer due to alcohol separation, sugar content buildup, and potential bottle damage.

However, steer clear of temperatures below 43°F (6°C) as it can speed up the best-by date. Aim for 35-46°F and dodge sunlight to keep its flavors intact.

Once opened, drink Blanc within 3-5 days to savor the wonderful flavor and aroma. This intricate blend of fruit liqueurs and French wines deserves proper refrigeration to maintain its delightful complexity over time.

Quick Fact: Alcoholic beverages that you can store in the freezer include vodka, vermouth, hard ciders, rum, and beers. 

How To Properly Store Lillet Blancs

As I’ve mentioned, you can store it properly by sealing it tightly and keeping it in a cool, dark place.

Refrigeration extends its life, but avoid exceeding a year. Store upright, corked, away from heat and light. Following these steps ensures your Lillet maintains its delightful flavor.

“I love Lillet Blanc because it is very refreshing and aromatic, with a pleasant finish.” Eric Ripert, French Chef 

Bartender Tip: You can make Lillet Fizz or Vesper Martini [1] and serve it with a citrus touch, like adding orange peel or lemon twist.

FAQs Related to How Long Does Lillet Blanc Last

Can you put Lillet Blancs in the freezer?

No, you can’t put Lillet Blancs in the freezer like wines. Fluctuations can separate alcohol content (and sugar content) and alter flavor.
Besides, freezing may crack the bottle and compromise safety. That’s why some venues store it in coolers (like wines), but not below 43°F (6°C) to maintain quality and serving temperature.

What do Lillet Blancs taste like?

Lillet Blancs are crisp with a slightly sweet profile. There are notes of citrus, honey, and a touch of bitterness. As it’s wine-based, it’s smooth with botanical notes for added complexity.
Like wines [2], served chilled or in cocktails (with an orange twist), its unique bite brings a refreshing and sophisticated experience to the palate.

What is the best way to store Lillet Blanc once it’s been opened?

It’s best to store Lillet Blanc in its original bottle with the cap tightly sealed to prevent oxidation

Can Lillet Blanc be refrigerated after opening to prolong its shelf life?

While refrigeration may slightly extend the shelf life of Lillet Blanc, it’s not necessary as long as it’s stored in a cool, dark place away from heat and sunlight.

How can I tell if Lillet Blanc has gone bad?

Signs that Lillet Blanc has gone bad include a noticeable change in color, a funky or off smell, or a bitter taste. If you notice any of these signs, it’s best to discard the Lillet Blanc.

Can Lillet Blanc be frozen to prolong its shelf life?

It’s not recommended to freeze Lillet Blanc, as freezing can alter its flavor and texture. It’s best to store it at room temperature and consume it within the recommended timeframe.

Can I use Lillet Blanc in cocktails after it’s been opened?

Yes, Lillet Blanc is commonly used as an ingredient in cocktails even after it has been opened. Its versatility makes it a popular choice for mixing in a variety of classic and modern cocktails.

On A Final Note

Understanding Lillet Blanc’s lifespan is key for optimal enjoyment. Once opened, it’s best consumed within 3-6 months, preserving flavors by sealing and storing in a cool place.

Unopened, it lasts longer, between 2-5 years, but quality can vary over time. And when refrigerated, it can last up to several months, depending on how you store it.

Refrigeration is good, though unnecessary, but I highly discourage freezing it if you want to avoid taste alterations. Store upright, corked, away from heat and light to savor Blanc’s delightful profile.

References:

  1. https://www.independent.co.uk/arts-entertainment/films/news/james-bond-daniel-craig-swapping-a-martini-for-vesper-has-lead-to-an-increase-in-gin-sales-10512574.html
  2. https://www.britannica.com/topic/wine
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