Benedictine Cocktails To Make At Home

If you've come across a drink that calls for Benedictine, you may be wondering, "what on Earth is that?" Well, you've come to the right place!

What is a Benedictine

We'll dive deep into what Benedictine is, where it comes from, and how to drink it in this post. We'll also throw in the eight best Benedictine cocktails for you to try at home. If that sounds like a good plan, read on!

What Is Benedictine?

While Benedictine's historical roots come from 16th monks using it as a medicinal tonic, the history is only tangentially related to an abbey. Its true origins lie in the handiwork of wine merchant Alexandre Le Grand who developed the spirit in 1863.

After creating its formula, the savvy marketer deceived the public with a romantic tale of the liqueur coming from the Abbey of Fecamp in Normandy. The story claims this original recipe was lost during the French Revolution.

The recipe for Benedictine remains a secret only known by a few people at any given time. The formula contains 27 herbs and spices, including saffron, cinnamon, and fir cones, but the remaining ingredients are a mystery. Benedictine has quite a poetic tale, don't you think?

This liqueur's many blends are distilled, sweetened with honey and saffron, and then aged for twelve months. The resulting liqueur can be consumed neat or mixed into cocktails. If you've been blessed with a bottle of your own, you'll find it to be a delightfully complex and pleasantly sweet addition to drinks.

What Kind of Alcohol Is Benedictine?

While Benedictine is an herbal liqueur, its flavors elicit floral notes and hints of orange peel, honey, and warm baking spices. It is 40% alcohol by volume, making it a reasonably powerful spirit.

Many people believe Benedictine's base spirit is cognac and brandy, but others claim the neutral spirit is made from distilled beetroot. If that is true, Benedictine is not a product of cognac and brandy. Why? Because cognac is distilled from grapes and brandy is distilled from fermented fruit juice like grapes, apples, pears, and more.

Can You Drink Benedictine Straight?

Yes! Benedictine confuses many because of its elusive backstory and closely guarded ingredient list and because there is simply nothing else like it. Most people prefer to mix herbal liqueurs into something else, but Benedictine is deliciously versatile.

While it is a beautiful addition to cocktails, and several classics call for it by name, Benedictine is great on its own. You can try sipping it neat or over ice to enjoy its warm, unique flavors.

How To Use Benedictine In Cocktails

Benedictine's recipe utilizes 27 different ingredients, providing a robust and layered flavor profile. When striving to make a Benedictine cocktail, a little bit can go a long way. It also has a velvety smooth texture, adding a better drinking experience in cocktails that lack texture or depth.

If you're intrigued by the mysteriousness of Benedictine, the best way to understand it is to give it a try!

8 Best Benedictine Cocktails To Try

We've put together a list of eight Benedictine cocktails for you to try. So, grab a bottle, gather up your mixology bartender kit, and get ready for delicious cocktail exploration.

Let's dive in!

Benedictine and Tonic

Two ingredient cocktails are as simple as they come. If you're a fan of tonic water in your alcoholic beverages, this drink is a Benedictine cocktail must. The plus side? It's a super easy drink to make at home.

Ingredients:

  • 1oz Benedictine
  • 4oz tonic water

Instructions:

Add the Benedictine into your glass with ice. Pour in the tonic water and give it a gentle, quick stir. Garnish with a lime wedge for a punch of citrus.

Vieux Carre

Now that we've offered a simple Benedictine cocktail to make at home, it's time to ramp it up a notch (or five). Benedictine is an essential component of the New Orleans classic called the Vieux Carre.

Vieux Carre translates to old square in French, which refers to New Orleans' French Quarter. This Benedictine cocktail landed on the scene in the 1930s, and a bartender at the Carousel Bar, named Water Bergeron, created it. Its flavors are definitely boozy but smooth with a hint of bitterness and a splash of sweetness. Some say the cocktail tastes like New Orleans in a glass.

Ingredients:

  • 0.75oz rye whiskey
  • 0.75oz cognac
  • 0.75oz sweet vermouth
  • 1 bar spoon of Benedictine
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Instructions:

Combine all the ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 20-30 seconds—strain into a glass over fresh ice. Garnish with a brandied cherry or lemon twist.

Monte Carlo

The Monte Carlo is a Benedictine cocktail that riffs on the classic Manhattan. It first appeared in David Embury's "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks." A staple ingredient in a Manhattan is sweet vermouth. In the Monte Carlo, Benedictine replaces the vermouth for a unique spin on classic flavors. While you cannot call this variation a Manhattan, it will undoubtedly elicit similar tastes.

Ingredients:

  • 2.25oz rye whiskey
  • 0.5oz Benedictine
  • 3 dashes of Angostura bitters

Instructions:

Add ingredients to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir 5-6 times. Strain into a rocks glass over fresh ice. Serve, sip, and enjoy!

Rolls Royce

Any gin fans out there? If so, this one is for you! This Benedictine cocktail with gin combines unique flavors like a Perfect Manhattan, but it's also considered a unique twist on the classic Martini. The recipe first appeared in publication around 1930. Just like its name, the Rolls Royce cocktail is elegantly timeless and sure to make you feel like a million bucks.

Ingredients:

  • 2oz gin
  • 0.5oz sweet vermouth
  • 0.5oz dry vermouth
  • 0.25oz Benedictine

Instructions:

Add all ingredients to a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 20-30 seconds. Strain into a chilled glass and garnish with a twist of lemon. Enjoy!

Singapore Sling

Here's another Benedectine cocktail for the gin lovers out there.

The Singapore Sling came about in the 1930s. The cocktail appeared in Harry Craddock's "The Savoy Cocktail Book" and David Embury's 1948 "The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks." However, one thing to note is that neither recipe is the same. This difference may stem from the fact it was meant to act as a single-serve punch known for experimentation.

Benedictine cocktail appears in several cocktail books and on bar menus across the globe, but one bartender holds the title of its original creator despite the many iterations. Bartender Ngiam Tong Boon created it as a riff on the Gin Sling while working at Long Bar in Singapore's Raffles hotel.

The drink is herbaceous, fruit-forward, and packs a punch in its ABV. To make a Singapore Sling, you'll need a slew of ingredients, but it is worth it in the end. Grab your Benedictine; it's cocktail time.

Ingredients:

  • 0.75oz gin
  • 0.25oz Benedictine
  • 0.25oz Grand Marnier
  • 0.25oz cherry herring liqueur
  • 1oz pineapple juice
  • 0.5oz lime juice
  • 1 dash of Angostura bitters
  • Club soda to top

Instructions:

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker except for the club soda. Add ice and shake—Strain into a glass over fresh ice. Garnish with an orange wedge and a cherry. Enjoy!

Creole

Creole is another Benedictine cocktail coming out of New Orleans. It is a classic drink first appearing in Craddock's 1930 Savoy Cocktail Book. Thankfully, it has come back to life over the last decade or so for all of us to enjoy its unique flavors.

The Creole cocktail combines Benedictine, rye whiskey, sweet vermouth, Angostura bitters, and Amer Picon, a French aperitif with a bitter, orange, one-of-a-kind flavor. Check out the recipe and give it a stir!

Ingredients:

  • 2oz rye whiskey
  • 0.25oz Benedictine
  • 0.5oz sweet vermouth
  • 0.5oz Amer Picon
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters

Instructions:

Add ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 20-30 seconds. Strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass and garnish with a twist of lemon. Cheers!

Benedictine Tequila Manhattan

Reading that title might make you scratch your head, but bear with us. The Manhattan offers an excellent foundation for creating variations, and this Benedictine cocktail proves it to be true. This idea comes from Food & Wine Magazine, where they say the flavors in Benedictine pair perfectly with the vegetal flavors of reposado tequila. We couldn't agree more!

If you're a tequila lover looking to adventure away from the standard margarita, try this unique Benedictine cocktail as your first step on the journey. See below for Food & Wine's recipe (that we had our personal touch on).

Ingredients:

  • 2oz reposado tequila
  • 1oz Benedictine
  • 2 dashes of Angostura bitters
  • 1 dash of orange bitters

Instructions:

Add all ingredients into a mixing glass. Add ice and stir for 20-30 seconds—strain into a chilled coupe or martini glass. Garnish with a twist of lime and a brandied cherry. Enjoy!

Benedictine Sour

A great way to craft a Benedictine lemon cocktail is to take inspiration from the classic whiskey sour. In this cocktail, Benedictine subs in perfectly to pair with the warm flavors of bourbon. The pop of lemon adds a citrus note to create balance. Give it a try!

Ingredients:

  • 2oz bourbon
  • 0.75oz Benedictine
  • 0.25oz Simple Syrup

Instructions:

Add all ingredients into a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake until well chilled. Strain into a glass (with or without ice) and garnish with a wedge of lemon. If you want to fancy it up a bit, you can shake it up with an egg white for increased texture and a few drops of Angostura over the top. Let your creativity soar—cheers!

Benedictine Cocktails: The Bottom Line

Benedictine cocktails may not often be on the top of our minds. But if you've stumbled across a bottle and are looking to get creative, the possibilities are endless. Benedictine has a pronounced seat at the table for innovative mixing from historical cocktails to modern-day mixology libations.

With its wide array of botanicals and touch of honey sweetness, it is a delicious option for those looking to try something new. Lastly, if you want to make Benedictine cocktails at home but don't want to take the time to seek the ingredients in the recipes above, try stirring in your favorite Mixly mixer with a splash of the herbaceous, unique liquor. Cheers!