Originally created as a medicinal elixir by monks at the Benedictine Monastery at Fecamp along the Normandy coast in the early 1500′s, the recipe was actually lost during the French revolution. Fortunately, this most curious of liqueurs was unearthed again in the 19th century by Alexandre Le Grandand and was quickly popularised around the world. In fact, Benedictine became so popular that it allowed Alexandre to fund the building of an actual palace (the Palais de la Bénédictine) around the actual distillery, making it amongst the most grand and beautiful distilleries in the world – a must visit if you’re ever in the area.
We actually went over to the distillery a short while ago, followed by a cheeky trip around some of the finest cocktail bars in Paris. You can see what we got up to on the following video:
|Benedictine Road Trip 2012|
So what is it and what do we do with it? To the uninitiated, the closely guarded blend of 27 herbs with a cognac base can seem a little intimidating. However, Benedictine is incredibly versatile and particularly suited to the chillier months when the bold flavours will reawaken your senses. Take a nose and you’ll find a rich aroma, full of spice and ripe fruits. On the palette, expect an incredibly appealing collection of flavours, including warming cardamom and cloves, subtle orange and lemon as well as a honeyed sweetness. In terms of cocktails, Benedictine is simply delicious with Champagne or tonic, as well as warmed up as a long drink. Check out the video links below for full recipes: