13 Best Benedictine Substitutes

Benedictine is commonly added to many cocktails and has a classical and well-loved flavor. It has a distinct flavor of sage, nutmeg, cedar, citrus, and notes of honey.

Benedictine not only makes great cocktails, but can be used to add great flavor in sauces, especially pasta sauce, and for poaching fish and other meats.

Benedictine is very herbal and local to European regions, and as such, it may not be easily found in other parts of the world. Thus, you can use other good benedictine substitutes to add an imitation of its wonderful flavor as a cooking liqueur to your dish.

Some of the most common substitutes for benedictine that you can use are drambuie, sake, chartreuse liqueur, brandy, glayva, amaro, grand marnier, herbsaint, campari, cyner bitters, fernet branca, and Jawbox Pineapple & Ginger Gin Liqueur.

Read on to find more about this delicious liquor and its different alternatives.

What Is a Benedictine Drink?

Benedictine Substitutes

Bénédictine liqueur was originally created by a 16th-century Benedictine monk, dom Bernardo Vercelli and the abbey of fécamp of Normandy, France.

They worked for years with a variety of local herbs and oriental spices with which they created the perfect liqueur taste; they used honey to sweeten this spirit.

Describing the flavor of bénédictine liqueur may be quite challenging due to its truly unique flavor profile. It has several complementary tones, and it is unlike any medicinal product too.

Bénédictine possesses the sweetness of organic honey and the bite of holiday spices, including stone fruits, with a faint accent of herbs.

The benedictine liqueur has a rich history of experiments and continuous improvisations. It is a popular drink commonly served in bars; it is used as a major component of cocktails. This liqueur isn’t only killing it in the bars; it is also used in the kitchen.

However, although bénédictine is quite popular, your local grocery shop may run out of stock more often more frequently than expected.

If you are unable to get your hands on bénédictine or want something with a similar taste, here’s a list of the best benedictine substitute 

Best Benedictine Substitutes

1. Drambuie

This is Scotland’s staple drink but is also quite popular and is well-loved all across the world. It has a distinctive golden color and spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg, and herbs; this gives the drink a delicious taste. The scotch whisky is made from a delicious solvent foundation base.

Drambuie can be added to different types of alcoholic beverages to liven it up. Its smooth, rich taste can be lightened and made more delicate by adding notes of spiced honey or citrus.

Drambuie leaves a nasty aftertaste and is commonly used as a base for some cocktails because it is neither sour nor bitter.

It can be used to dilute other alcoholic drinks without losing all the fun and games of being tipsy; Drambuie is the right substitute option for benedictine if that’s what you seek.

Its different note of oak, anise, and orange peel helps you to achieve a bolder drink that can be served straight during weekend parties.

To take the flavor up a notch, you can serve your cocktails on the rocks. Drambuie can be used in making a dessert float to add a woody and citrusy flavor.

2. Chartreuse Liqueur

Another popular herbal liqueur that can be used to replace Benedictine in cooking and in alcoholic beverages is chartreuse liqueur.

It is made in France and was also invented by monks around 400 years ago for its medicinal properties and health benefits.

It is available in both yellow and green chartreuse options and uses a top-secret blend which gives the liqueur its unique taste.

It is popular in the UK, Germany, Japan, Australia, Mexico, and the US and is commonly added to dessert items and chocolates.

This liqueur contains no artificial colors, preservatives, or ingredients. It is aged for about five years and has a smooth and rich mouthfeel.

Chartreuse contains no sugar and is made from medicinal herbs; the green chartreuse has a high alcohol content of around 55%; it is the strongest amongst the two options and has a distinct floral flavor. 

Yellow chartreuse has a softer and smoother flavor with tones of honey, licorice, anise, violet, saffron, and citrus.

This is an expensive drink as it is made with healthier and more expensive ingredients such as saffron. It is used in making expensive desserts in restaurants, and in bars pair them with gin, rum, and brandy to enhance the flavors of their drinks.

3. Sake

This is another excellent substitute for benedictine as a cooking liqueur. Sake is a liqueur made with rice and water; it originated from Japan. 

Sake is not made by fermenting the rice like the general process of making rice wine; instead, it is made through a brewing process similar to beer-making.

Sake is great for marinating fish and meat; it tenderizes them and also removes the fish odor. When it is cooked, the alcohol content evaporates, so does the unpleasant fishy smell.

Sake adds a slightly sweet flavor to dishes because of the starch content in the rice and it is excellent in making a number of Japanese dishes like simmered dishes, soup, stocks, and grilled dishes.

4. Brandy

Brandy is very versatile and a great replacement for benedictine in cooking and cocktails. Brandy is made from distilled wines with ranging alcohol content from 35% to 60%.

Brandy has a ranging dark color which determines the length of aging and the strength of its flavor profile. It can be added to sauces and also used at room temperature. You can easily find regular brandy, and it is relatively inexpensive.

Brandy is an unconventional substitute for benedictine that adds flavor to different dishes and food items. It is a quick solution, and you may already have it in your pantry.

5. Herbsaint

Herbsaint is made of aniseed and originated in New Orleans. It isn’t just an alternative 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.

6. Glayva

This liqueur has the perfect woody, warming flavors of almond, cinnamon, honey, and tangerines; it is a favorite in Christmas desserts or a winter drink.

It was first created in 1947 in Edinburgh when spices with the decadent flavors of scotch whisky were combined.

It is an inexpensive drink and can be added to soups and sauces; with a deep golden color and musky flavor, glayva makes the best substitute for benedictine in an amazing dessert float.

7. Jawbox Pineapple & Ginger Gin Liqueur

This is a not-so-very subtle liqueur; it has a strong flavor, strong scent, and a strong visual appeal. It is sold in sturdy bottles, which makes it easy to store. It works perfectly in desserts, and you are sure to love this drink.

8. Cynar Bitters

Cynar bitters is an Italian classic and have an artichoke flavor; it is a rich combination of blended herbs and plants with a smooth and bittersweet taste.

It doesn’t contain a high amount of alcohol and doesn’t burn, making it the perfect drink for warming up the cold wintry nights.

9. Amaro

Amaro is another Italian liqueur that can stand in place of benedictine and deliver an exec result. It is also an herbal drink, just like benedictine.

You can drink it on its own or add other drinks to make cocktails. Amaro is made out of wine and infused with botanicals; it can be used in most ways you would use benedictine.

10. Jagermeister

Jagermeister is a popular drink with a unique taste that you can use as a substitute for benedictine. You can consume the liqueur on its own or include it in cocktails.

Jagermeister is a blend of citrus, licorice, spice, saffron and has a sweet, rich flavor. It not only makes great cocktails, but you can also add Jagermeister into cooked dishes. It especially pairs well with grilled food items.

11. Grand Marnier

Grand mariner has a nice sweet orange flavor and can replace benedictine perfectly. It is very good for baking as well as for roasting duck or other poultry dishes. It makes the perfect addition to some cocktails being an orange-tasting brandy.

12. Fernet Branca

This is a famous Italian liquor and can be used as a replacement for benedictine in many ways. It contains over 30 different roots and herbs, and it is aged into oak vats for one year. This gives the drink an intense, sweet, yet bitter taste.

For more flavor, fernet contains bitter orange and a grip of many other herbs and species. This combination gives it a unique taste. It can be served after dinner.

Fernet has multiple uses in the kitchen and can be added in small doses to improve aroma and flavor of dishes.

13. Campari

Campari is a famous type of liquor and is a common ingredient in many cocktails. Its popularity makes it a seemingly good replacement for benedictine in different recipes.

It has a bitter taste that pairs well with other liquors and is great for cooking. Campari is a cherry-red-colored liquor that contains herbs and fruits which are turned into alcohol. It can be used in most of the recipes that call for benedictine.

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