Bénédictine is a French liqueur that contains Cognac and 27 different herbs, spices, and honey. The result is a sweet, well-balanced, herbaceous drink that’s useful in a wide range of cocktails and cooking recipes.
If you can’t get your hands on a bottle or you’re after something a little different then keep reading. We’ve created a handy list of Bénédictine substitutes to help you get by without it.
What can I use instead of Bénédictine?
To replace Bénédictine in a cocktail or recipe, you’re best to use Dom B&B, Yellow Chartreuse, or Drambuie. Other liqueurs you could try include Italicus, Licor 43, or regular brandy.
Keep in mind that Bénédictine has a unique flavor profile with ingredients that have been kept secret for centuries. No replacement will perfectly mimic this liquor. In saying that, they’re in the ballpark on taste and won’t be out of place in drinks and food that call for the original ingredient.
1. Dom Bénédictine B&B
A bottle of Dom B&B will get you closest in flavor to what you’re trying to replace. That’s because it’s a mix of roughly 60% Original Bénédictine and 40% Cognac.
The spicy, herbaceous notes aren’t as strong in B&B and it’s a little drier. You’ll notice the difference sipped neat, but for your next Singapore Sling or Vieux Carre, it’s fine.
The biggest problem with B&B is that it’s just as expensive which may be the reason you’re searching for an alternative. If you’re after a lower-cost option, then continue reading.
Chartreuse is another French liqueur that’s a complex mix of floral, herbal, and spicy flavor notes. You’re best to choose the yellow variety to get the closest flavor and a 40% alcohol. Its herbal bouquet is comparable and works well in drinks like Frisco Sour or Honeymoon Cocktail.
Yellow chartreuse has honey added which you also get from Bénédictine, but yellow Chartreuse is a little sweeter. If you use it in sweet dessert recipes or cocktails, then reduce the amount of sweetener if it’s called for.
Green Chartreuse has a higher 55% ABV and a bolder flavor so if you use it as a substitute, reduce the amount. Either type of chartreuse will work well in savory dishes like seafood pasta.
Drambuie is a dark, herbaceous liqueur that is sweetened with honey. This is similar to Bénédictine, although the honey flavor in Drambuie dominates the drink. You’ll also taste scotch which differs from the neutral spirit base uses in Beni.
Drambuie is excellent for Vieux Carre or Monte Carlo cocktails. It’s herby, medicinal flavor may differ from the ingredient it’s trying to replace, but it still works.
Italicus combines a neutral spirit with a melange of citrus, flowers, and herbs. It’s a well-balanced drink that isn’t sweet and doesn’t have any overwhelming flavors. It will fill the shoes of Bénédictine deliciously in a Frisco Sour or Honeymoon Cocktail. We love pairing it with bitter drinks like Aperol, maybe a little too much!
Italicus isn’t overly sweet so you may want to add a splash of simple syrup to cocktails or sugar in dessert cooking.
5. Licor 43
For lovers of citrus and vanilla, Licor 43 will make an okay backup liquor if you’re in a pinch. With 43 different ingredients going into making a bottle, it’s a complex drink.
Licor43 is versatile enough to suit most cocktails that call for Bénédictine like a Bobby Burns or Monkey Gland. It’s a sweet drink so don’t overdo it.
A bottle of cheap brandy like Casa Pedro Domecq Presidente Solera Brandy isn’t advisable as a substitute in drinks. We may as well recommend beer. However, it’s perfect for cooking sweet and savory dishes. This versatile alcohol is especially good for puddings, flambéing, chicken mushrooms, and pasta with prawns.
If you just want a cooking spirit, then you may also want to try Glayva or Grand Marnier. We love Jagermeister for grilling and seafood; it also makes a useful Barenjager substitute.
7. Dolin genepy des alpes
If you’re serious about your cocktail making, then searching for two drinks and combining them may be an option. For example, mixing one part Dolin Genepy des Alpes with three parts maraschino is an option. Cost-wise, you won’t save money, but this combination is a good replacement if you can’t find Bénédictine in local liquor stores.
As a last resort, you could also use an Amaro or Pastis as a substitute for Bénédictine. They’re both herbal liqueurs although much more bitter. Consider a sweeter bottle of Ramazzotti, Nonino, or Lucano for your next Vieux Carre cocktail. If all you have in the liquor cabinet is Fernet Branca then only use it for replacing Beni in cooking recipes.
Related reading: What can I use as a Creme de Mure substitute?
Commonly asked questions
How do I drink dom benedictine liqueur?
To appreciate the range of flavors that go into Bénédictine, it’s excellent sipped with ice. The liqueur is also versatile and will work in a wide range of refined, elegant cocktails. It is often added to drinks like the Singapore Sling, Vieux Carre, Frisco Sour, and Manhattan.
Is Benedictine a type of brandy?
Benedictine D.O.M is a herbal liqueur, not a brandy. It is made in France from a recipe that was originally used by monks in the 16th century. It has a spicy sweetness while brandies are fruitier in flavor.
If you’ve got no Bénédictine and you need a substitute, then Dom B&B is your best choice. However, this option is around the same price and can also be hard to find.
For a more common liqueur, try Yellow Chartreuse, Drambuie, or Italicus. While they’re made using different combinations of ingredients, they won’t be out of place in most cocktails calling for Bénédictine.
For anyone cooking, a low-cost bottle of brandy will work perfectly well in your desserts, baked goods, and savory dishes.