Most people have heard of Benedictine but don’t know exactly what it is. Let me fill you in.
Benedictine is a type of liqueur that is made from herbs and spices.
It has a sweet and spicy flavor and is usually served chilled.
It can be enjoyed on its own or used as an ingredient in a cocktail.
For people who do not drink alcohol, Benedictine can be non-alcoholic by using a non-alcoholic distilled spirit and sweetener instead of grain alcohol and sugar.
Don’t worry if you love Benedictine but are trying to cut back on alcohol.
There are plenty of delicious substitutes that will let you enjoy this classic dip without any guilt.
Check out our list of the five best substitutes for Benedictine, and start enjoying this appetizer your way.
What is Benedictine?
Bénédictine D.O.M., or Benedictine Diurnal Office Made, is a herbal liqueur made in France.
It contains a 16th-century monk’s secret combination of 27 herbs and spices, including honey, in a neutral spirit sweetened with sugar.
Bénédictine is one of the world’s most-recognized liqueurs.
It is widely used as an after-dinner drink, typically neat or on the rocks.
Bénédictine is a beverage with a distinctive herbal flavor.
The ingredients are steeped for several weeks in alcohol before being distilled by steam, then aged in oak casks that have been charred inside and out.
The result is a clear, amber-colored liqueur with a complex aroma and body.
It’s available in more than 85 countries and has been distributed worldwide by Brown-Forman Corporation since 1973.
The 5 Best Substitutes for Benedictine
If you love Benedictine as a cocktail or after-dinner drink but aren’t near a liquor store that sells it, here are five substitutes that you can mix up at home.
1 – Drambuie
Another substitute for Bénédictine is Drambuie.
This is a Scottish liqueur created in the early 1700s by an innkeeper named Sweeney.
He used his secret recipe to create what became Drambuie.
It contains natural flavors, herbs and spices, heather honey, malt whisky, and Scotch whisky.
It certainly has the essence of honey.
The idea behind Drambuie is to make something that tastes good.
It’s a unique blend of spices and flavors that work in harmony with each other.
To this day, the recipe is a secret.
Many haven’t figured out what makes it taste so good.
There has been speculation about various ingredients, from saffron to honey and whisky.
This drink tastes best when served neat or on the rocks.
2 – Yellow Chartreuse
If Drambuie doesn’t sound like your cup of tea, you can substitute yellow Chartreuse instead.
This is another liqueur that was created hundreds of years ago.
It’s available in mid-price bottles and very expensive versions.
Chartreuse is a French liquor made from many herbs similar to Benedictine.
It’s a sweet beverage with 40% alcohol content.
While Benedictine is somewhat sweeter, it’s not by much.
It contains citric, honey, violet, saffron, anise, and licorice traces.
Use it to make cocktails, desserts, and cheese dishes.
3 – Chartreuse Liqueur
Like Benedictine, this French herbal liqueur is also produced in France and serves as a decent substitute.
Like the previous one you read about, this liqueur is another green version that you can use in recipes calling for Benedictine.
Cocktails are an example of cocktails.
You should not leave it out of your desserts, as it is a fine addition to that dish.
This liqueur is unique because it’s not as sweet as other liqueurs.
It has an alcohol content of 55%, making it a little higher than the previous liqueurs you read about.
The flavor is complex, creating the perfect mix of herbs and spices that you can mingle with desserts, cheese dishes, and cocktails.
4 – Cointreau Triple Sec
Cointreau is often compared to Benedictine.
It has become the most popular brand of triple sec over time.
This liqueur was first created in 1875, and the recipe remains a secret to this day.
The main difference between Cointreau and Benedictine is that this liqueur does not contain any honey and has a different taste and color.
Cointreau is also popular because it’s 40% alcohol, making it an excellent choice for cocktails, desserts, cheese dishes, and many other recipes.
It’s also a great choice for those who don’t like the sweetness of other liqueurs and those trying to lose weight as it contains fewer calories than others.
5 – Amaro
You can also replace Bénédictine with Amaro instead.
Amaro is a class of bitter liqueur that was first popularized in Italy in the 19th century.
Some of the most common Amaro include Averna, Ramazzotti, and Cynar.
Many of these liqueurs also have a distinct bitter taste, making them a perfect substitute for Bénédictine.
Amaro is incredibly popular in cocktails as well as desserts and cheese dishes.
Just make sure you use about half as much as you would Bénédictine.
This will give you a little bitterness to your drink or dessert, but not too much that people will notice.
Plus, with Amaro around the same price as Benedictine and other liqueurs, it is an affordable substitute that can be used for a variety of recipes.
Benedictine is an incredibly tasty liqueur that has been around for hundreds of years.
Unfortunately, it is not well-known outside of the culinary world, making it difficult to find in stores.
Luckily, there are several substitutes available that you can use in recipes where Benedictine is called for.
Each of these alternatives has a unique taste and flavor, so it is important to consider what you will be using the drink.
While most of these substitutes have a similar taste, they differ slightly, with some being sweeter.
Plus, there are also going to be price differences, which can impact your recipe as well.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What can I use instead of Benedictine in Vieux Carre?
Many common alternatives to Benedictine can be used in Vieux Carre cocktails, such as Lillet Blanc, Dubonnet Rouge, or dry sherry.
Each substitute will give a unique flavor profile – Lillet Blanc is citrusy and herbal, Dubonnet Rouge is more fruity and slightly sweeter than Benedictine, while dry sherry is quite dry and nutty. You can also use an orange liqueur or triple sec for a more overt citrus flavor.
Is Drambuie similar to Benedictine?
No, Drambuie is a liqueur made from Scotch whisky, honey and herbs. It has a very distinct flavor with definite notes of whisky and honey that make it quite different from Benedictine.
While it can be used in some cocktails, its strong flavor profile means it’s not the best substitute for Benedictine in Vieux Carre.
Is Benedictine similar to Chartreuse?
No, Benedictine and Chartreuse are quite different. While both are herbal liqueurs made with a variety of spices and herbs, their flavor profiles differ significantly.
Chartreuse is intensely sweet, while Benedictine is slightly herbal but more rounded in flavor due to the addition of orange peel and honey.