Have you ever heard of Benedictine?
No, we aren’t talking about Eggs Benedict! This is a liqueur we’re focusing on, a common ingredient we find in cocktails and dishes.
In fact, you probably already know about this herbal liqueur! Many people around the world consume Benedictine, a distilled spirit liqueur used as a sweetener in popular cocktails.
However, we understand if you aren’t a fan of Benedictine or can’t find any in your area. That doesn’t mean your recipe will go to waste!
There are many Benedictine liqueur substitutes you can use. Read on to find out what they are.
Top 14 Good Substitutes for Benedictine You Can Try
While you can usually find Benedictine in liquor stores, it’s not always available. Or some people have already tasted Benedictine, only to find it has too much of an herbal and floral taste.
Whatever the reason may be, there are other drinks you can substitute Benedictine liqueur with. Try any of these options:
1. Dom Benedictine Liqueur (B&B)
If you’re looking for the liqueur closest in flavor to Benedictine, then you will love Dom B&B! This liqueur is a combination of 60% original Benedictine with 40% cognac.
As a result, you get a spicy and herbaceous drink. However, these flavor notes aren’t as strong in B&B. Furthermore, it tastes a bit drier.
While you may sense the differences when sipping B&B neat, it won’t be as noticeable when using it in cocktails.
If you need Benedictine substitutes because of your budget, then B&B may not be the best option. This drink is just as expensive as Benedictine!
But don’t worry, keep reading, and we’ll guide you to more affordable options.
Drambuie is one of the best Benedictine substitutes, as they are both herbal liqueurs!
This is a dark, herbaceous, and sweet liquor sweetened with honey. But like yellow chartreuse, Drambuie is much sweeter than Benedictine.
Furthermore, you’ll taste more scotch whisky, a tad different from the neutral spirit base used in Benedictine. But hey, if you’re a fan of scotch whiskey, we recommend using this!
We appreciate the anise seeds, oak, and orange peel notes, even with the slightly different taste. It tastes bold and will add excellent flavor to cocktails or be served alone on the rocks.
While the herby and medicinal flavor would differ from Benedictine, Drambuie works well in Monte Carlo or Vieux Carre cocktails. You can also use it in desserts that have citrusy and woody flavors.
3. Chartreuse Liqueur
Chartreuse is a French liqueur with a complex yet fantastic combination of floral, herbal, and spicy notes. We recommend getting yellow chartreuse liqueur with a 40% ABV, which offers the closest flavor.
We like using this substitute in cocktails like Frisco Sour or the Honeymoon cocktail.
There is also green chartreuse liqueur, but what’s the difference?
Yellow chartreuse contains honey, which bénédictine liqueur also has. However, the yellow chartreuse is a bit sweeter. If you need to use it in sweet cocktails and dessert cooking, reduce the amount of sweetener the recipe calls for.
Green chartreuse has a higher ABV of 55% with a much bolder taste. If you plan to use this when replacing benedictine liqueur, reduce the amount needed.
Both types of chartreuse will work in savory dishes, such as seafood pasta, chicken mushrooms, and the like.
Italicus is a combination of neutral spirits with citrus, herbs, and flowers. This is a well-balanced drink with no overwhelming flavors, nor is it sweet.
Because of that, Italicus will work in many cocktails like the Frisco Sour, Honeymoon, and Aperol!
Since Italicus isn’t too sweet, we recommend adding just a bit of simple syrup or sugar to your recipes.
5. Licor 43
For those who love citrus and vanilla, we recommend Licor 43! This interesting liqueur gets the name of what it’s made from, as it’s made of 43 different ingredients.
Expect a complex drink that tastes slightly different from Benedictine, maybe even with a bolder flavor. However, you still get a light and refreshing taste that suits cocktails like the Monkey Gland or Bobby Burns. We also recommend using this drink when cooking dishes that need a sweet flavor.
Take note that this is a sweet drink, so avoid adding too much of it to your recipe!
6. Regular Brandy
Brandy is a versatile drink used for many applications. This liqueur is made from distilling wines, having an alcohol content between 35-60%.
We don’t recommend using cheap brandy as one of the Benedictine substitutes in drinks. You might as well just go for a beer rather than a drink made of distilled wines!
But we do recommend using regular brandy for cooking sweet or savory dishes, working amazingly in recipes like puddings, pasta with prawns, or for flambeeing.
For those who only need a cooking spirit, we recommend Glayva or Grand Marnier. You can also try Jagermeister to grill meats or for seafood dishes. We’ll take a better look at these liqueurs below.
Glayva combines Scotch and spices from Edinburgh, having flavors like almond, cinnamon, honey, and tangerines! It’s got a deep golden color, making it unique and suitable for cooking.
Use this golden-colored liqueur in sweet cocktails and dishes that need Benedictine.
8. Grand Marnier
Grand Marnier is an orange-flavored liqueur with hints of vanilla from cognac. It works well in cocktails or the kitchen, especially when baking.
On the other hand, Jagermeister is another popular drink consumed on its own or in cocktails. It’s a combination of citrus, spice, saffron, and licorice, having a sweet and rich flavor.
10. Dolin genepy des alpes
If you want to take your cocktail-making skills to the next level, then you may want to try mixing two Bénédictine substitutes.
Try mixing one part of Dolin genepy des alpes with three parts of maraschino. While you won’t save money from this replacement, you get a closer flavor to the famous French liquor!
11. Fernet Branca
Fernet Branca is a famous Italian liquor made of 30 herbs and roots, aged in oak vats for a year. As a result, you would get a bittersweet and intense flavor.
Fernet Branca is flavored with bitter orange, among other herbs and spices, giving it a unique taste. It’s best served after dinner in small glasses.
You can also use this Italian liqueur in recipes asking for Benedictine. Start with small amounts to add more aroma and flavor to the dish.
You can find Campari in many cocktails, a cherry-red-colored liqueur made of herbs and fruits. Because it’s very popular among cocktails, you can use it as a Benedictine replacement in various recipes.
Campari has a bitter taste, which works well in cooking or paired with other liquors.
If you’re making a Vieux Carre or Singapore Sling, we recommend a sweeter bottle, like the Nonino, Lucano, or Ramazzotti. You can also use Fernet Branca, but only to substitute cooking recipes.
Sake is an enjoyable Benedictine alternative for cooking. We don’t recommend it for cocktails.
Sake is a Japanese liqueur made from water and rice. The better the rice quality used, the better the sake is!
Contrary to popular belief, sake isn’t made through the typical rice wine process, which consists of fermenting fruit content. Instead, sake is produced through a brewing process almost similar to making beer!
Sake is best suited for marinating fish or tenderizing meat. Many people use it to remove the fishy odor while cooking.
This substitute can bring out sweeter flavors in dishes thanks to the starch content from rice. You can also use sake to create numerous Japanese dishes such as nimono, stocks, soup, or yakimono.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you still wondering about what Benedictine is? We’ve got our frequently asked questions to cover your curiosity!
1. Is Benedictine a herbal liqueur?
Yes, Benedictine is a herbal liqueur from France, a Cognac-based beverage many people love.
This liqueur is made from a recipe dating back to the 16th century, which monks developed. (*)
Fun fact: Benedictine monks were very famous for their wine and their other unique drinks infused with fruits and spices.
2. What does herbal bouquet mean?
When we describe Benedictine as a herbal bouquet, we mean to say that it’s made with a mix of different herbs and spices.
In fact, this liqueur is made with 27 herbs, spices, and honey!
With its fantastic blend, you get to enjoy Benedictine over ice on its own, in sweet or savory dishes, and sophisticated cocktails, such as:
- Singapore Sling
- Frisco Sour
- Vieux Carre
- Gin Benedictine Cocktail
- Honeymoon Cocktail
- And many more!
Fun fact: Create the infamous Gin Benedictine Cocktail by mixing Gin, Benedictine, and lemon juice. You’ll get a refreshing drink for parties!
3. What does this French liqueur taste like?
Benedictine has a sweet and herbaceous taste. We like to describe it as having a spicy sweetness.
This is NOT a brandy but a Cognac, so don’t expect any fruity taste.
Fun fact: Benedictine was a crowd-favorite back in the 16th century as it was a neutral spirit without much bitterness.
Wrapping It Up
We hope that our list of the best substitutes for Benedictine helped you out!
Whether you’re making cocktails, desserts, or savory dishes, have fun with any of these ingredients and see what unique flavors you get. Happy cooking!