Friday, April 30, 2010

Essential Liquor #10

#10) Benedictine- This herbal liqueur is a relative newcomer to the Firewater Lounge, but an old Wisconsin favorite. Given that the other monastic liqueurs like Izarra, Claristine, and the immortal Chartreuse are notably absent from Sconnie shelves, why is Benedictine so popular in the rural supper clubs?

Simply because it blends so readily with brandy, lending additional sweetness and spice- perfect for after dinner. Benedictine’s versatility is what is valued here at the Lounge. I’ve been on a vintage drink kick here, prepping for our summer theme party and I am shocked that so many classics call for Benedictine.

Cindy said I was pouring too many classics, though, so how about an original? This pour is a true cocktail employing gin at the base. I was looking to pair Benedictine with Disaronno because of its color and alluring sweetness. I added gin and bitters for balance, pomegranate for a bit of acid. This is not a deadly combination, but a moderately sweet drink with good depth. Therefore we call it the…

Silent Siren
2 ounces of Gordon’s gin
1 ounce of Benedictine
1 ounce of Disaronno
1 ounce of Rose’s Pomegranate twist or regular juice
3 dashes of orange bitters

Shake on ice, garnish with orange twist


  1. Picked up the Benedictine. Saw Chartreuse in Green and Yellow varieties. Which one do I need? At $55 I wasn't willing to wager the difference

  2. Well, you don't need Chartreuse for this drink. It is one of the most expensive of the herbals. So Joe isn't likely in line, but it is one of my favorite herbals. In my opinion, the green is better- more herb, less sugar. However the yellow is usually cheaper. The green is the original color- it's also where the color 'chartreuse' comes from!

  3. If you do snare Chartreuse, try this drink (we did over last weekend)...The Widow's Kiss. 1 1/2 oz Calvados (or brandy); 1/2 oz Chartreuse (or 3/4 oz if you are using yellow); 3/4 oz Benedictine; 2 dashes Angostura aromatic bitters... Classy, oh so classy. If you haven't got to it by the time you come back, I'll whip one up for you here...

  4. Sweet, so I need the Ben anyway. To me the Benedictine has undertones of the amaretto. My Angostura orange bitters is spicy man. 2-3 dashes? Use less if it's Angostura. I'm keeping a running bar tab for you...I.e. How much does it cost to obtain the 30 essentials? Guess it's my own fault for not having them in the first place!

  5. Yeah, hold back on that Angostura orange (start with 1 and go to taste). I have no idea freaking clue what it would cost- only you could buy them all at once! My estimate is $550-600. (You will likely have some of the bottles-yet-to-come already...)