A complex and sweet liqueur that is named after the Benedictine monks from the Abbey of Fecamp. There are two different versions of its history, one attributes its origins to an ancient recipe from the Benedictine Abby of Fécamp Normandy, which was discovered in 1863 by Alexandre Le Grand, who painstakingly reproduced it. The alternate version of this is that Alexandre Le Grand created the recipe himself and simply attributed it to the Abbey in order to put a local spin on the product as a marketing gimmick. All evidence appears to indicate this latter story is unfortunately the true one.

Bénédictine is one of those “secret recipe” sorts of products, with mostly all that is known about it is that it contains 27 different plants, roots, and herbs. From this you can guess that its flavor is both complex and mysterious, which it is. In proper amounts, it can lend a delightful complexity to a drink, which is part of the reason it is seeing a resurgence of late.

Bottles of Benedictine include the initials D.O.M. which stands for "Deo Optimo Maximo" (For our best, greatest God).

In addition to Bénédictine, the company also makes “B&B”, which is simply Bénédictine mixed with an equal portion of brandy. In the 1930’s it had been noticed that consumers where ordering “Bénédictine and Brandy” a lot. Mixing in some brandy made it “dryer” (less sweet) as well as toned back the complexity a bit. So the company simply provided a simple “pre-mix” with the extra brandy already included. Today, in the average bar, you can often see a bottle of B&B on the shelf, but no regular Bénédictine in sight. I always found this to be a little backwards. There are few cocktail recipes which specifically call for B&B, but several for Bénédictine. If you have a bottle of Bénédictine you can make any of those cocktails, plus a B&B, but with B&B you can make… well… B&B. I often use the presence of just B&B on the back bar to indicate that this bar may not be up to speed with the whole cocktail thing yet.

The following recipes on this site use Benedictine:

Bobby Burns
Scotch whisky, sweet vermouth, Benedictine,
gin, dry vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,
gin, dry vermouth, Benedictine, orange bitters,
bourbon whiskey, amaretto, Benedictine, Cointreau, orange curaçao,
Chrysanthemum Cocktail
dry vermouth, Benedictine, absinthe,
De La Louisiane
rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, absinthe, Peychaud's bitters,
bourbon whiskey, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,
gin, dry vermouth, Benedictine, orange bitters,
tequila, dry vermouth, Benedictine,
gin, sweet vermouth, orange bitters, Benedictine,
dry vermouth, Jagermeister, Benedictine, cinnamon tincture,
Monte Carlo
rye whiskey, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,
Poet's Dream
gin, dry vermouth, Benedictine,
dry vermouth, bourbon whiskey, Benedictine, peach bitters,
Singapore Sling
gin, Cherry Heering, Cointreau, Benedictine, pineapple juice, lime juice, grenadine, Angostura Bitters,
Straits Sling
gin, dry cherry brandy, Benedictine, lemon juice, orange bitters, Angostura Bitters, soda water,
rum, sweet vermouth, dry vermouth, Benedictine, orange juice,
Tip Top
dry vermouth, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,
Vieux Carre
rye whiskey, brandy, sweet vermouth, Benedictine, Peychaud's bitters, Angostura Bitters,
rum, Benedictine, falernum, lime juice, Angostura Bitters,
Widow's Kiss
calvados, Chartreuse, Benedictine, Angostura Bitters,
Benedictine, gin, dry vermouth, sweet vermouth, Campari,