Posted by: Matt Browner Hamlin | December 27, 2009

Benedictine Cocktails

First, apologies for the light posting. I’ve been traveling a lot lately, both for work and for the holidays. Hopefully I’ll be able to pick up my pace again soon.

Jonathan Miles of the New York Times has an interesting article about the history and mysteries of Benedictine liqueur. The 500th anniversary of Benedictine will be celebrated in 2010, making it one of the oldest and most storied liqueurs in the Western world. Of note in the article are two interesting recipes, one from Damon Dyer of Louis 649 and the other from André Balazs’s Standard Hotel.

Monte Cassino by Damon Dyer

3/4 oz Bénédictine
3/4 oz yellow Chartreuse
3/4 oz freshly-squeezed lemon juice
3/4 oz Rittenhouse 100-proof rye whiskey.

Mix the ingredients in a cocktail shaker with ice, then strain into a chilled cocktail glass and garnish with a lemon twist.

The Benediction from the Standard Hotel

3/4 oz Bénédictine
Dash orange bitters
Champagne, to top.

Add the Bénédictine to a Champagne flute, add the bitters, then fill with Champagne.

Of course, my personal favorite cocktail with Benedictine…

Cocktail a la Louisiane

3/4 oz rye whiskey
3/4 oz Benedictine
3/4 oz sweet vermouth
3 dashes absinthe
3 dashes Peychaud’s bitters

Stir with cracked ice and strain into chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry.

The a la Louisiane is what I consider to be a true cocktailians cocktail. It’s somewhat obscure and made with classic ingredients from top to bottom. It’s strong, boozy, savory, and complex. There aren’t too many cocktails that you can reliably order in a high-end cocktail bar and show you are of the cognoscenti in the same way as an a la Louisiane. Trust me and try it out, not only will you like the ensuing tipple you receive, you’ll probably also like having a bartender who geeks out with you on a tour through other great, rare cocktails.


In the comments, Dave points out that the NYT article has another cocktail in the body of the text. I initially failed to pull it out but it looks good too, so here it is:

Wisco Country Club from Joseph Leonard

1 oz gin
1 oz grapefruit juice
3/4 oz Benedictine
dash orange bitters
Top with champagne

Shake all ingredients except for champagne over ice. Strain into a champagne flute and top with champagne



  1. Don’t forget about the Wisco Country Club. Strangely, the recipe was given in the article body only, but it looks really interesting. The combination of Benedictine and grapefruit juice seems vaguely tiki-inspired, and I’d bet that the addition of gin and champagne makes it a killer brunch option.

  2. Oh my. That “Cocktail a la Louisiane” is a delight, somewhere between a Sazerac and a Manhattan. Thank you!


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