Benedictine liqueur rebottled
Benedictine Liqueur was invented in the 1800's by Alexandre Le Grand. It is an herbal liqueur made from about two dozen spices and herbs including aloe, saffron, angelica, hyssop, and cinnamon. The actual recipe is a secret known only to a few people.
When I was first starting to get into cocktails and mixed drinks, Benedictine Liqueur wasn't on my radar. I was concentrating on the standard base spirits and the recipes I was using and finding never mentioned Benedictine Liqueur. Over time, I kept noticing Benedictine as an ingredient in drink recipes, and I kept having to shunt those recipes off to the side because I didn't stock Benedictine Liqueur in my bar.
I finally gave in and I'm glad I have. There is a good collection of drink recipes that utilize Benedictine usually as a secondary flavoring to bring some herbal sweetness and complexity to a drink. The Vieux Carre, Singapore Sling, Bobby Burns, and the various Scaffas are all quite tasty with the Vieux Carre being one of my favorites.
Because I go through my Benedictine rather slowly, I rebottle it in smaller and smaller containers to prevent oxidation. The last container is usually a half pint glass jar.
You will find another form of Benedictine mixed with brandy called B&B. If you are like me and you already have a hundred or more bottles vying for space in your bar, you only need to stock Benedictine which is the version found drink recipes. B&B is mainly meant for sipping by itself, and should you desire to do so just mix Benedictine Liqueur with brandy yourself. This way you control the proportions (half and half or maybe two parts brandy, one part Benedictine) and you can also assure yourself of a quality brandy.
How do you mix your Benedictine and brandy? And what are you favorite Benedictine cocktails? Comment below and let us know.