Classic Mixology: Cocktail & Mixed Drink Recipes

Bénédictine

What it is:  Liqueur

Herbal liqueur invented by Alexandre Legrand (who later changed his name later to Alexandre Le Grand) in the 19th century and produced in France. The recipe contains 27 plants and spices.

At the Benedictine Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy, monks had developed a medicinal aromatic herbal beverage. It was produced until the abbey's devastation during the French Revolution. In 1863, Alexandre Legrand set out to recreate the recipe. Working with a chemist, he developed the formula now in use. The recipe is a closely guarded trade secret, ostensibly known to only three people at any given time. So many people have tried to reproduce it that the company maintains on its grounds in Fécamp a "Hall of Counterfeits" (Salle des Contrefaçons). The company prosecuted those it felt to be infringing on its intellectual property. It lost in litigation against the Santo Domingo de Silos Abbey in Spain, after it was demonstrated that the monks there had been making their liqueur for a longer time.

Substitution:  Chartreuse Substitution:  Chartreuse (yellow) Further reading:  http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/B%C3%A9n%C3%A9dictine
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