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4 Foolproof Whisky and Bénédictine Cocktails

The Vieux Carré, named for New Orleans’ French Quarter, includes Bénédictine and rye whiskey.

4 Foolproof Whisky and Bénédictine Cocktails

August 10, 2021 –––––– Sally Kral, , , ,

Katie Auth, New York City-based bartender and founder of Katie Sips, believes that Bénédictine herbal liqueur is underappreciated by many. “It's a shame because it plays well with many spirits, but it's especially known for its compatibility with whisky,” she says. “Bénédictine and whisky is a stunning pairing when done carefully.”

With a secret recipe of 27 plants and spices, Bénédictine has a colorful history to match its rich flavor profile. It's said that Bénédictine monk Dom Bernardo Vincelli developed the recipe at the Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy, France in 1510, but that it went missing after the French Revolution—only to be rediscovered by wine merchant Alexandre Le Grand in 1863. Le Grand chose to distill and age the liqueur, which he named Bénédictine in tribute to Vincelli, in a flamboyant palace in Fécamp, where it's still made to this day.

“Bénédictine's flavor profile is unique, complex, and herbaceous, with the most prominent flavors being lemon balm, angelica root, and hyssop, with a sweet honey finish,” Auth says. “It brings a sugared quality to a cocktail, along with a medicinal and herbal punch.” Perhaps best known for its role in the classic Vieux Carré—in which it's mixed with rye whiskey, cognac, sweet vermouth, and Angostura and Peychaud's bitters—Bénédictine pairs well with most whiskies, including bourbon, rye, and scotch, claims Auth. “The liqueur's sweet honey notes complement whisky's oak, caramel, and vanilla flavors from its barrel aging,” she adds.

Four Whisky and Benedictine Cocktails That Showcase Sugar and Spice


Vieux Carré: ¾ oz. rye whiskey + 1 barspoon Bénédictine + ¾ oz. Cognac + ¾ oz.sweet vermouth + 2 dashes each Peychaud's and Angostura bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into an ice-filled rocks glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry.

Flying Naked: ¾ oz. bourbon + ¾ oz. Bénédictine + ¾ oz. Aperol + ¾ oz. lemon juice
Shake all ingredients vigorously with ice. Strain into a Nick and Nora glass.
Created by Katie Auth, New York City-based bartender and founder of Katie Sips

Old Alliance: 1¾ oz. Highland scotch + ½ oz. Bénédictine + ¾ oz. fino sherry + Islay scotch rinse
Rinse a rocks glass with Islay scotch. Add remaining ingredients and stir with ice. Garnish with an orange twist.
Created by Katie Auth, New York City-based bartender and founder of Katie Sips

Death and Taxes: 1 oz. blended scotch + ¼ oz. Bénédictine + 1 oz. gin + ¾ oz. sweet vermouth + 2 dashes orange bitters
Stir all ingredients with ice. Strain into a Nick and Nora glass and garnish with a lemon twist.
Created by Michael Madrusan, co-owner of Made in the Shade Group