Does Lillet go bad?

In this article, we will answer the question “Does Lillet go bad?”, what types of alcohol are fine without refrigeration, and what types of alcohol require refrigeration. 

Does Lillet go bad?

Yes, Lillet goes bad. Once opened, it should not be expected to last more than a month in the fridge. Lillet Rouge (red) becomes dull after a month in the fridge. 

Whereas the Blanc and Rosé styles Lillet should only be expected to last a few weeks when refrigerated. Rose Lillet is the pink version of Lillet while Lillet rouge is reddish and is made from red Bordeaux wine and citrus liqueur.

French Lillet is savored for its smooth, floral, and mild citrusy flavor. It can be enjoyed on its own or mixed in a Vesper martini. Lillet is a wine-based aperitif due to which it has a short shelf-life.

The alcohol content of Lillet averages around 17% which is not enough to preserve it for long once the bottle is opened. Therefore, slowing down the degradation by refrigerating the opened bottle of Lillet is the right thing to do.

Lillet tastes much like sweet vermouth in a martini. Other than that, Lillet is a completely different thing from sweet vermouth. The former contains liquor and lacks wormwood. This is what sets the Lillet apart from sweet vermouth.

What types of alcohol can evade refrigeration?

The distilled types of alcohol such as gin, vodka, and other spirits, do not require refrigeration. Their extensive processing and high alcohol content render them stable at room temperature.

However, this does not mean that distilled alcohols will preserve their quality if they are frequently exposed to temperature fluctuations or sunlight. Remember you are not testing the alcohol to withstand temperature fluctuations. You want to get the longest shelf-life out of them.

Keep your alcohol in a cool, and dark place, away from direct or indirect sources of heat such as the stove or sunlight. For example, a liquor cabinet. Freezing the base spirits is not needed but works great if you prefer serving your alcohol chilled.

What types of alcohol are better off refrigerated?

Alcohol such as sherry, vermouth, or other wine-based liquors lasts the longest when stored in the fridge. Such types of alcohol are produced as a result of fermentation that takes place at a specific temperature for a specific time. 

The resulting alcohol content, more or less 15%, is not enough to preserve the freshness of the booze for long. Read on if you want to gain in-depth knowledge about the storage of wine-based alcohols that require refrigeration. 


It is imperative to store Vermouth in the fridge no matter what type of vermouth we are talking about. Vermouth won’t last more than a few months even after refrigeration. 

Therefore, the better you finish an opened bottle of vermouth, the better it tastes. If the vermouth in question loses its carbonation and becomes dull, it is time you drain it in the sink.

Sherry and Port

Sherry and Port feature a slightly higher alcohol content than vermouth but this only means a couple of months more of freshness. 

Some delicate varieties of this category such as the Fino won’t keep for more than a week. The golden rule is to finish your opened and refrigerated bottle of sherry and port as soon as possible.

Marsala and Madeira 

Keep your opened bottle of Marsala and Madeira refrigerated and tightly sealed in between uses to minimize oxidation. If your marsala no longer meets your quality standards but is also not spoiled yet, throw it in for some cooking. 

Similarly, white wine, that has become dull and flat due to prolonged refrigeration, does great in cooking or making clam sauce.

Aperitifs Like Lillet, Cocchi Americano, and Campari

Aperitifs are known for their exquisite and delicate herbal flavors that need refrigeration to stay intact. Cocchi Rosa, the red-wine-based aperitif, has a longer shelf-life than its white counterpart.

The exotic and floral flavor of Campari is not meant to withstand a few days of refrigeration. This is one situation where hasting will benefit you. Finish your aperitifs as soon as you can after opening it to enjoy it while it retains its peak quality.

Cream liquor 

Cream liquor contains 20% alcohol and high sugar content, both of which are great preservatives. Therefore, some may argue that cream liqueur does not require refrigeration. If fridge space is not an issue and you want your cream liquid to last longer, refrigeration is not a bad idea.

Other FAQs about Wine that you may be interested in.

What wine to serve with christmas dinner

Can you put prosecco in the fridge after opening?

Can red wine go bad in the fridge?

Can you keep the red wine once opened?


In this article, we answered the question “Does Lillet go bad?”, what types of alcohol are fine without refrigeration, and what types of alcohol require refrigeration.