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Bénédictine is an herbal liqueur beverage produced in Francemarker. Its recipe contains 27 plants and spices.

In 1510, at the Benedictine Abbey of Fécampmarker in Normandy, a monk named Dom Bernardo Vincelli developed a recipe for an aromatic elixir. It was produced at the Abbey until the recipe was lost during the abbey's devastation at the time of the French Revolution. In 1863, Alexandre le Grand re-discovered the recipe and began production under the trade name "Bénédictine"; the company he founded continues to produce the liqueur today.

The recipe is a closely guarded trade secret, ostensibly known to only three people at any given time. So many people have tried (and failed) to reproduce it that the company maintains on its grounds in Fécampmarker a "Hall of Counterfeits" (Salon de Contrefaçons) displaying bottles of the failed attempts.

The manufacturing process involves several distillations which are then blended.

The same company also produces "B & B" (or Bénédictine and Brandy), which is Bénédictine diluted with brandy, making it less sweet than Bénédictine. B & B was developed in the 1930s when consumers began a trend of mixing Bénédictine with brandy to produce a drier taste. Bénédictine is 40% alcohol (80 proof), while B & B is 43% (86 proof). Also, the company introduced in 1977 a 60 proof (30% alcohol) coffee liqueur, Café Bénédictine, a blend of Bénédictine and another coffee-flavored liqueur. Additionally, the company produces a Bénédictine Single Cask that comes in a black bottle and is only available at the Palais de la Bénédictine's store in Fécamp, Normandy, France.

Every bottle of Bénédictine has the initials D.O.M. on the label. Mistakenly thought by some to refer to "Dominican Order of Monks", it actually stands for "Deo Optimo Maximo"; "For our best, greatest God". (The Dominican Order uses the designation O.P., which refers to "Order of Preachers".).

Burnleymarker Miners' Club in Lancashiremarker, United Kingdom is the world's biggest single consumer of Benedictine liqueur, after Lancashire regiments acquired a taste for it during the First World War.

Other herbal liqueurs include Chartreuse, another monastic-in-origin beverage for which the color is named, Jägermeister ("Master Hunter"), and Unicum.

References

  1. List of QI episodes #Episode 6 "Drinks"


  • Harold J. Grossman and Harriet Lembeck, Grossman's Guide to Wines, Beers and Spirits (6th edition). Charles Scribner's Sons, New York, 1977, pp. 377–8. ISBN 0-684-15033-6
  • http://www.ufppc.org/content/view/4276/36/


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