The Best Kina Lillet Substitutes For You To Try!

Who doesn’t love the refreshing taste of a delicious cocktail on those warm summer evenings?

While many of these cocktails tend to include readily available ingredients, there are some drinks out there that make use of some fairly hard to come by ingredients.

One of these is the French aperitif called the Kina Lillet. Made with a combination of spices, citrus, and quinine, its bitter taste is often used to help balance out the sweetness of other ingredients. 

The Best Kina Lillet Substitutes For You To Try!

However, if you’re unable to get your hands on this incredible liqueur, but a recipe you’re using requires it, then you’re going to need to track down a suitable replacement that will be able to have the same effect on the taste of your cocktail. 

Thankfully, that’s where this guide comes in, as we’re going to explore what some of the best Kina Lillet substitutions are, which should help to ensure that you’re able to replace them with ease. 

With a number of different substitutions available, there’s something here for all tastes and budgets, so you should have no issue making up for the lack of Kina Lillet in your cocktails! 

What Is Kina Lillet?

Originating all the way back in the 19th century, 1887 to be exact in the southwestern French town of Podensac. This French aperitif is created using a combination of liqueurs and wines.

More specifically, it was initially created as a sort of white wine liqueur, which made use of quinine and fruit flavors to help the incredibly unique bittersweet taste of this liqueur. 

The bitterness of this drink originates from the quinine, although nowadays the quinine is replaced with a number of different herbal extracts, but the exact recipe is a well kept secret, 

The complex flavor provided by this liqueur is part of the reason why so many people choose to drink it, and it can be served on its own, usually over ice, or with soda water. However, it’s also popular when added to cocktails too. 

However, if you’re following a cocktail recipe and simply can’t find any Kina Lillet locally, or you’re simply in need of a more budget-friendly replacement, then this guide will help to provide you with a number of great substitutions you can use in its place! 

Best Substitutes For Kina Lillet

Popularized in a number of different films (most notably, in James Bond: Casino Royale), many people have sought out Kina Lillet for themselves, only to discover that it is no longer being produced.

As such, if you’re looking for adequate substitutions in order to replace what Kina Lillet would have brought to a cocktail, then check out our recommendations down below! 

1. Lillet Blanc And Angostura Bitters

While Kina Lillet might no longer be in production, Lillet Blanc is, and when paired alongside Angostura Bitters, it makes for the perfect replacement for Kina Lillet in all sorts of different cocktails. 

Lillet Blanc is another French aperitif, only it has a slightly bitter, and more dry taste. Made using a range of botanicals, as well as oranges, many people compare it to Vermouth.

Meanwhile, Angostura Bitters are made using spices and herbs, and are an extremely popular ingredient in cocktails, which makes finding it even easier. 

Despite their similarities, these two do have different functions when it comes to taste, which is exactly why they’re often paired with each other.

With the slightly bitter and citrusy taste and the dryness of the Lillet Blanc, added to the intense flavor of the Angostura Bitters, the result is a particularly sophisticated taste that is sure to rock any cocktail. 

So, for the best results when replacing Kina Lillet, simply use the same measurement of Lillet Blanc as you would for Kina Lillet, along with a couple of dashes of Angostura Bitters! 

2. Amaro Angeleno

One of the rising stars of the liqueur world, Amaro Angelon is a liqueur that is native to Italy, although it’s now becoming a more common sight throughout the United States, and the rest of the world! 

Made by using a combination of roots, citrus peel, and herbs, the taste is incredible, and is distinctly bittersweet, so you can see exactly why people are beginning to favor it as a form of replacement for Kina Lillet. 

Typically this liqueur would be enjoyed on its own, especially since its taste profile manages to remain well-rounded despite being so complex.

This is thanks to the bitterness of the herbs being balanced perfectly by the sweet citrus peel, with the earthiness of the roots also helping to ground the flavor. 

Its taste is also considered to be particularly crisp and refreshing, which is why it’s become a staple in so many different summer cocktails.

So, if you see a summer cocktail recipe that calls for Kina Lillet, and you’re in need of the perfect bittersweet replacement, then Amaro Angeleno should do the trick. 

Simply replace one part of Kina Lillet with one part of Amaro Angeleno, and you’ll have the perfect substitution. 

3. Cocchi Americano

Another Italian product on this list, Cocchi Americano is an aperitif wine originating in the Piedmont region.

Made using a blend of both Pinot Bianco and Moscato grapes, the fruity flavor of this aperitif is complemented by hints of both vanilla and orange throughout, which is why it’s adored by so many people. 

Often enjoyed by itself, many people also tend to enjoy making spritzes with Cocchi Americano by adding soda water or sparkling wine, which makes it a great summer drink. It’s also used frequently in Negronis or Americanos too. 

Many people who used to enjoy Kina Lillet draw comparisons between the now discontinued aperitif wine and Cocchi Americano, which is why it’s often used as a substitute, but it’s worth noting that Cocchi Americano is much less sweet than Kina Lillet was, and that Kina Lillet also had a more prominent citrus flavor too. 

If you’re in need of a good Kina Lillet substitute, then don’t be afraid to give Cocchi Americano a try during your next cocktail making session! 

4. Reserve Jean De Lillet

Another aperitif that is often compared and substituted for Kina Lillet is Reserve Jean De Lillet, a French aperitif wine that is made using quinine, Kina juice, and bittersweet orange peels, so you can understand why it draws so many comparisons between the two. 

The taste of this aperitif is both light and fruity, with the underlying bitter notes making it the perfect substitute for Kina Lillet in any cocktail you can think of. 

However, while it’s good in cocktails, it’s just as good when it’s enjoyed by itself, so no matter how you plan on using it, you can be sure that you’re going to enjoy it for sure. 

When you do use it in cocktails, go ahead and use the same amount of Reserve Jean De Lillet as you would Kina Lillet, and you’ll be able to bring some of that citrusy bittersweetness to your cocktails that’s been missing! 

5. Kina L’Avion d’Or

Made using white wine and quinine, this final instalment on our list of adequate Kina Lillet substitutions is Kina L’Avion d’Or, known for the floral and citrusy taste that it brings to cocktails, many people see it as an excellent stand-in for Kina Lillet, although you can also enjoy it entirely by itself too. 

If you’re looking to use this aperitif as a replacement for the now-discontinued Kina Lillet, then all you need to do is mix one part Kina L’Avion d’Or in with one part of gin, and then simply add it to whichever cocktail you would like for the perfect results. 

The best thing about using this substitution is that it will provide you with both a similar appearance and a similar taste to what Kina Lillet would, so if you’re trying to replicate a specific cocktail, then you’re not compromising on either of these factors with this substitution! 

Final Thoughts

This list of Kina Lillet substitutes should hopefully be of some help to you if you’re on the hunt for Kina Lillet substitutes that are going to be able to provide you with a similar look and appearance to this now extinct aperitif. 

No matter which option you choose, we’re sure that your cocktails will taste incredible, enjoy!

The Best Kina Lillet Substitutes For You To Try!

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