Have you been missing Benedictine liqueur in your cocktails, with its classical and well-loved flavor? It has a distinct flavor of sage, nutmeg, cedar, citrus, and notes of honey.
However, if you love this liqueur but can’t get it because of one thing or the other, we have a top Benedictine substitute you can try. It makes excellent cocktails and flavor sauces, especially pasta sauce, and for poaching fish and other meats.
So, the best Benedictine substitute is; Drambuie, sake, chartreuse liqueur, brandy, Glayva, Amaro, grand Marnier, Herbsaint, Campari, fernetbranca, Jawbox Pineapple & Ginger Gin Liqueur, Italicus, Dom Benedictine B&B, Cointreau triple sac, Jägermeister, Dolin Genepy des Alpes.
Ride on as we give you details on these substitutes.
What Is Benedictine
Benedictine is an herbal liqueur produced in France, created by a wine merchant Alexandre Le Grand in the 19th century. They worked for years with a variety of local herbs and oriental spices with which they created the perfect liqueur taste.
The flavor profile is bitter-sweet, featuring a blend of twenty-seven flowers, berries, herbs, roots, and spices, making it a complex and versatile sweetener for cocktails. Being a Brandy, Benedictine pairs excellently with cocktails that feature Cognac as a base.
Also, remember that Benedictine has a unique flavor profile with ingredients that have been kept secret for centuries. No replacement will perfectly replace this liquor, as Benedictine is often used in many dishes.
So, if you cannot get Benedictine, here are the best Benedictine substitute.
Best Benedictine Substitutes
Drambuie is probably the best Benedictine substitute. It’s what most cocktail lovers choose due to its ingredients. It’s probably best known as a component in the Rusty Nail. This liqueur is also prepared from spices, herbs, Scotch whiskey, and honey.
Also, it’s sweeter than Benedictine with a spicy flavor and improves Benedictine cocktails’ flavor. Drambuie is excellent for Vieux Carre or Monte Carlo cocktails. Its medicinal flavor may differ from the ingredient it’s trying to replace, but it still works.
If you want a Benedictine substitute for a cooking liqueur, sake is an excellent option. It is a liqueur made with rice and water; it originated in Japan. Also, sake is made the same way as beer, through a brewing process.
Nevertheless, it is best to marinate fish and meat; it tenderizes them and makes the fish odorless.
Sake adds a slightly sweet flavor to dishes because of the rice’s starch content. It makes several Japanese dishes like simmered, soup, stocks, and grilled dishes.
3. Chartreuse Liqueur
Chartreuse is another French liqueur with a complex mix of floral, herbal, and spicy flavor notes. Chartreuse has yellow and green varieties; yellow has the closest flavor and 40% alcohol as Benedictine.
Its herbal bouquet works well in drinks like Frisco Sour or Honeymoon Cocktail. Also, yellow Chartreuse is made with honey, which you also get from Benedictine, making it the closest Benedictine substitute.
Meanwhile, yellow Chartreuse is a little sweeter, so you can use it in sweet dessert recipes or cocktails, then reduce the amount of sweetener if it’s called for. Also, green Chartreuse has a higher 55% ABV and a bolder flavor, so if you use it as a substitute, use it in reduction.
Either yellow or green Chartreuse will work well in savory dishes like seafood pasta.
Brandy is an unconventional Benedictine substitute, adding flavor to different dishes and food items. It is made of distilled fruit and is a high-proof wine.
Brandy contains about 60% alcohol, Cognac is Brandy, and Cognac is also the base of Benedictine, making it a friendly alternative.
Benedictine and brandy are made differently, but you can use them as a substitute for each other. You can use brandy not only as a beverage but also as good for cooking and desserts or soups.
Glayva is a liqueur made from Scotch and spices, and it originates from Edinburgh with honey, almond, and tangerines flavor. The drink is often used as a Benedictine substitute, and it can be used in many ways, like making cocktails or mixing drinks and adding them to your tea or coffee.
Additionally, Glayva is used in baking as a flavoring agent. While Glayva is a unique substitute for Benedictine is the fact that it is not expensive and readily available. Also, Glayva has a more robust flavor than Benedictine, which can benefit specific recipes or drinks.
Amaro is a bitter-sweet liquor produced in Italy in the 19th century. Amaro is distilled in hundreds of styles, some more bitter than sweet and others bold and complex, making them a perfect substitute for Benedictine.
Amaro is popular in cocktails, desserts, and cheese dishes; Ramazotti and Amaro Nonino are similar substitutes to Benedictine. A Vieux Carré with Ramazotti is worth a shot. Just make sure you use about half as much as you would Benedictine.
However, Amaro will slightly bitter your drink or dessert, but not too much. Amaro is an affordable alternative, around the same price as Benedictine and other liqueurs, and can be used in various recipes.
7. Grand Marnier
Grand Marnier is a French liqueur made from a blend of Cognac and orange essence. Being a sweet orange-flavored liqueur, Grand Marnier has been a popular French Benedictine substitute even though its alcohol content is higher than that of Benedictine.
This means that you may need to adjust the amount you use depending on how strong you want the flavor to be. It’s used for baking, roasting, and preparing poultry-based cuisines. Many cocktails contain this liqueur, and that’s why you should give it a try.
Also, it has a hint of vanilla, an identical sweet flavor that makes it great for sipping or mixing into cocktails; it also adds depth and complexity to drinks like margaritas, martinis, and Manhattans and pairs well with desserts such as crepes suzette or chocolate mousse.
Herbsaint is made of aniseed and originated in New Orleans. It is not just a substitute for Benedictine but was created as a replacement for absinthe when it was outlawed in the United States because it contained a narcotic.
It is commonly used in oyster Rockefeller and cocktails.
Campari is an Italian aperitif made from a blend of herbs, spices, and citrus. It has a bitter flavor, often balanced with sweet vermouth or soda.it is a common ingredient in many cocktails like the Negroni and Americano.
It’s a suitable replacement for Benedictine in different recipes due to its similar herbal notes and bitterness. Campari has a bright red color which makes it an eye-catching addition to any drink menu.
Also, its bitter taste will work well with other liquors as it adds complexity to drinks without overwhelming them with sweetness. It’s also easy to find in most liquor stores and suitable for cooking.
10. Fernet Branca
Fernet Branca is famous Italian liquor that can be a perfect substitute for Benedictine. It is made from 30 herbs and roots. Its sweet, intense, and bitter taste makes it slightly different from Benedictine. Producers use bitter orange to flavor this liquor, spices, and herbs.
Thus, Fernet Branca has a unique flavor that cocktail lovers like. You can serve it in small glasses or enjoy it with a cocktail after dinner. It can also be added in small doses to improve the aroma and flavor of dishes.
Italicus is a delicious liqueur blending natural spirits comprising flowers, citrus, and herbs. You won’t find it sweet or bitter because it got a perfectly balanced flavor. Italicus can deliciously replace Benedictine in Frisco Sour or Honeymoon Cocktail.
However, Italicus has a lower ABV and is much sweeter than Benedictine, so it wouldn’t sub out exceptionally well in a cocktail; you may like to add a splash of simple syrup to cocktails or sugar in dessert cooking. It pairs well with bitter beverages like Aperol and has an excellent spirit to enjoy straight.
12. Dom Benedictine B&B
B&B is short for Brandy & Benedictine. B&B contains Benedictine, but because of the added Brandy, B&B are sweeter than its sweet counterpart, and it is often consumed on its own as an after-dinner drink similar to port wine.
B&B’s spicy and herbaceous flavors in B&B are not prominent like others, and it is a bit drier. You’ll notice the difference when drunk neat, but it’s great for your next Singapore Sling or Vieux Carre.
The problem with B&B is that it’s expensive, which may be why you’re searching for an alternative.
13. Cointreau Triple Sec
Cointreau Triple Sec is a clear, orange-flavored liqueur made from an infusion of sweet and bitter oranges. It has a strong citrus flavor with hints of herbs and spices that can add complexity to any cocktail or dish.
However, Cointreau triple sec is the perfect substitute for Benedictine in recipes, providing a similar sweetness without overly cloying. Its vibrant color appeals visually to drinks like margaritas, cosmopolitans, and other classic cocktails.
The liqueur also pairs well with fruit juices, cream liquors, and other spirits for more interesting flavor combinations; for those looking to make delicious dishes such as duck àl’orange or tarte Tatin, Cointreau Triple Sec can be used instead of Benedictine to provide an extra layer of zestiness.
Jägermeister is a German liqueur that is becoming increasingly popular as a substitute for Benedictine, and it has a unique taste that you can use as a replacement for Benedictine.
Bartenders often overlook them as fierce because of their reputation as a party pair with the red bull; Jägermeister is a complex spirit with a place in cocktails.
You can consume the liqueur on its own or include it in cocktails. Jägermeister is a blend of citrus, licorice, spice, and saffron and has a rich flavor. It makes excellent cocktails, and you can add Jägermeister to cooked dishes. It especially pairs well with grilled food items.
It can also be used instead of Benedictine when making drinks like the Corpse Reviver #2 or the Vieux Carre. Though it may not have the same herbal complexity as Benedictine, Jägermeister still provides a unique flavor that will help enhance any cocktail you make!
15. 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 instance, mixing one-part Dolin Genepy des Alpes with three parts maraschino is an option.
However, Dolin Genepy des Alpes is costly, and you won’t be able to save money. Still, this combination is a good alternative when you can’t find Benedictine in local liquor stores.
16. Licor 43
Licor 43 is a backup liquor for citrus and vanilla enthusiasts. It’s a complicated cocktail, with 43 distinct components in each bottle. Licor43 is good enough to work in most Benedictine-based cocktails, such as the Bobby Burns or Monkey Gland. It is a sweet drink, so don’t overuse it.
Becherovka is an herbal spirit from the Czech Republic. This recipe has been kept secret, and many of the same herbs and spices are probably used in Benedictine as the two share the same flavor profile.
18. Luxardo Maraschino
Luxardo Maraschino isn’t an exact substitute for Benedictine, but it has a complex sweetening ingredient that can take cocktails in another direction.
Benedictine is a French liqueur that contains Cognac and 27 different herbs, spices, and honey. It has a sweet, well-balanced, herbaceous valuable drink in a wide range of cocktails and cooking recipes.
However, if you can’t get your hands on a bottle or want something new, pick any of the substitutes above; Also, note that no replacement will perfectly mimic this liquor, but it can give you what you want in Benedictine.