What is D.O.M. Bénédictine and How to Use It

D.O.M. Bénédictine, a review and how to use it. An aromatic drink with a romantic and mysterious past that makes great cocktails!
D.O.M. Bénédictine
D.O.M. Bénédictine Bottle
D.O.M. Bénédictine

D.O.M. Bénédictine is a unique liqueur with a romantic and mysterious past with history that includes an old Bénédictine monk, The Philosopher’s Stone, a French king, the French revolution and a catastrophic fire that would have defeated all but the most resilient. Very much the proverbial Phoenix.

Estimated reading time: 6 minutes

D.O.M. Bénédictine History

The original recipe for D.O.M. Bénédictine was created in 1510, in the Abbey of Fécamp, by an old Bénédictine monk, Dom Bernardo Vincelli, a scholar and an alchemist, and was consumed as a tonic and a medicinal elixir.

It quickly became known in the region as a drink of outstanding taste, and even François I of France (1515-1547) was reputed to have been a huge fan, claiming it to be the best drink he’d ever tasted.

This elixir enjoyed a huge popularity for almost three hundred years but disappeared during the French Revolution when the abbey was destroyed.

But all good stories need a hero, right?

Bénédictine Legend

So, along comes Alexandre Le Grand, a wine merchant. One day, as he was going through old documents in his family’s treasure of a library, he came across an aged manuscript for the study of hermeticism and alchemy. The manuscript inevitably included the search for the elusive and legendary Philosopher’s Stone, the desideratum for almost every alchemist of that time.

Within the pages of this invaluable manuscript, he came across the recipe for this once popular drink, and it took Monsieur Le Grand about a year to work through the language and another year or so to finally replicate the old recipe.

Wanting to pay homage to the drink’s origins, our wine merchant  obtained permission to use the name and the coat of arms of the Benedictine Abbey in Fécamp and called his liqueur BÉNÉDICTINE®.

He also retained the acronym D.O.M., which in Latin, stands for Deo Optimo Maximo (God infinitely good, infinitely great) and is also a reference to the Latin word Dominus (Master), given to Benedictine friars.

pouring golden liqueur over ice photo
just look at that colour!

A Review

So, what of the drink itself, what is D.O.M. Benedictine, I hear you ask. Well, let’s start with the fact that Bénédictine is made up of a secret blend of 27 herbs and spices that includes saffron, cinnamon, angelica, hyssop, juniper and myrrh from five continents!

So secret that only a handful of people know the recipe, this select group includes the Master Herbalist and the Master Distiller.

D.O.M. Bénédictine weighs in at 40% abv (alcohol by volume), making it a very potent spirit, perhaps there is some truth in the stories that the old abbot’s ghost is seen from time to time at the distillery?!! Sorry, couldn’t resist that one!

Now, despite this high level of alcohol, it is remarkably smooth and quite sweet, with a decidedly herbal scent, quite reminiscent of a cough mixture at times!

D.O.M. Bénédictine in a glass
D.O.M. Bénédictine on ice can be a little intimidating for some

What does Bénédictine taste like?

Nose – as mentioned, D.O.M. Bénédictine is very herbal, after the first hit of alcohol fumes! Definite hints of orange, honey and an indefinable subtle alchemy – very, very pleasant indeed.

It is one of the defining ingredients in the Singapore Sling (click for recipe) and I certainly think that its strength lies in its ability to quite transform but never dominate whatever cocktail you use it in.

If you do want to have it on its own, add some ice cubes to it and let it settle for a couple of minutes. This releases its aromatic constituents, letting one appreciate its mysterious bouquet even more.

It goes rather splendidly with brandy, giving the simple but exquisite Benedictine and Brandy, B & B by Bénédictine, a proprietary blend since 1937. Ernest Hemingway was supposedly the first to mix the two.

Now, I definitely spy orange in there, so I think Cointreau or any other Triple Sec is the perfect companion for it. Next time you have Cointreau and Orange (one of my favourite combinations), add a shot of Bénédictine. You’ll see how it enhances the blend, in fact I think anything citrus is the perfect balance to its sweetness.

Just remember, a little goes a long way; it’s robust and it’s sweet, a touch is all you need for it to enhance and not dictate the flavours.

Bénédictine Cocktails

The Benediction
The Benediction is a simple and stylish drink with DOM Benedictine and champagne, with dashes of orange bitters, perfect festive drink!
Check out this recipe
The Benediction, a Benedictine Cocktail
Cointreau and Orange with D.O.M. Bénédictine
Cointreau and Orange is one of my favourite easy, lazy drinks.
Check out this recipe
Cointreau and Orange with DOM Benedictine
Singapore Sling
3 Singapore Sling Recipes! Singapore Sling is the stuff of legends, created in The Long Bar at Raffles Hotel, Singapore.
Check out this recipe
Singapore Sling

Palais Bénédictine

One last thing before I leave you. If you find yourself in Normandy, a visit to the Palais Bénédictine is a must! Purpose built to house the D.O.M. Bénédictine distillery, as the original was burned down in 1892.

The replacement, completed in 1898, the year Alexander Le Grand died, is both splashy and ornate at the same time. It is a flamboyant palace with gothic and renaissance characteristics at play, in some ways, a tribute to the complexity that is this French iconic drink.

The tour is well worth the effort, especially if you appreciate history and beauty. There is a certain sense of surrealism as you are shown the old copper stills the drink is distilled in and as you continue on your tour, there is a definite sense of walking on hallowed grounds.

One word of advice, be sure to get the real thing, as with anything so well known, there are many fakes out there! In fact the palais displays hundreds of fake bottles that have been seized over the years, in a special “hall of shame”!

Incidentally, the world’s largest consumer of Bénédictine is a gentlemen’s club in Burnley, right here in the UK!

There you go folks, sally forth, grab a bottle, take a sip or cook up a cocktail! I’d love to hear what you make of it.

In the recipe card below is how I enjoy it best – on its own!

If you enjoyed the article, don’t forget to leave me a comment and that all important, 5-star rating! Merci!

And if you buy it or use it, share it on any platform and tag me @azlinbloor, and hashtag it #linsfood.

Lin xx

More Drink Articles and Cocktails

Head on over to the Drinks Page for more articles and drink recipes, including limoncello calculations to make the best limoncello with what you’ve got!

Cointreau (French Orange Liqueur)
A review of Cointreau, Cointreau Blood Orange and Cointreau Noir, a French orange liqueur, one of my favourite liqueurs for drinking, mixing and cooking.
Check out this recipe
Cointreau Orange Liqueur
Baileys
A quick review of Baileys Original Irish Cream, a silky smooth blend of Irish whiskey, Irish Cream, a touch of cocoa & vanilla. This is my favourite way to drink it.
Check out this recipe
Baileys Irish Cream
Spice between the Sheets (a Spiced Rum Cocktail)
Spice Between the Sheets, a potent spiced rum cocktail, is my twist on the original, with spiced rum, Grand Marnier and fresh lemon juice.
Check out this recipe
Spice between the sheets in glass
D.O.M. Bénédictine

What is D.O.M. Bénédictine and How to Use It

D.O.M. Bénédictine, a review and how to use it. An aromatic drink with a romantic and mysterious past that makes great cocktails!
4.99 from 78 votes
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Course: Drinks
Cuisine: French
Keyword: liqueur
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes
Servings: 1
Calories: 180kcal
Author: Azlin Bloor

Ingredients

This is just how to enjoy the full on flavour and aroma of D.O.M. Bénédictine, served on ice. For Bénédictine cocktails, click on the links below.

Instructions

  • Mix it all together to enjoy the delights it has to offer. Garnish with an orange or lemon twist (or slice).

Nutrition

Serving: 60ml | Calories: 180kcal | Carbohydrates: 10g

Carbon Footprint

Did you make this recipe?Mention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!
Made it? Upload your photosMention @azlinbloor and tag #linsfood!

22 thoughts on “What is D.O.M. Bénédictine and How to Use It”

  1. Fascinating! I have never tried Benedictine but the history of it makes me want to try it! Lots of great ideas here!

  2. 5 stars
    I did not know about DOM prior to reading your post. Thanks for sharing! This is something I need to start using in my kitchen!

  3. 5 stars
    Thank you so much for sharing this! Super helpful, will surely use it again! Highly recommended!

  4. Enjoyed reading the article. I have many bottles of DOM bought during my holiday trips over the years but hardly drink it. Would you know how long can a bottle of unopened DOM last? Thanks for sharing in advance.

    1. Hi there, I have a friend who works at Palais Bénédictine, and she says unopened bottles last indefinitely. Open ones should be drunk within a year for maximum flavour.

  5. Charles Grant

    This is a really good write up. I enjoyed reading every minute of it! Thanks for the Sling recipe too, I’ve always been curious about it, I’m sure my wife will love it!

  6. This is really great stuff! Lol, both the drink and your review/article! I really enjoyed reading all of that, as well as your description of the drink and your suggestions. Thanks for the cocktails too, going to check them out after this.

      1. Thanks for the history on DOM! Now I know! I recently gave birth and DOM is the must-have post natal drink recommended by friends & family. I didn’t dare to drink it after my first child but this second one I feel I should try it to reap all the benefits people talk about and I just took 2 table spoons. Indeed it is sweet and I like it!

        1. Congratulations on the baby! And you are very welcome. I grew up in Singapore, and for many of my Chinese friends there, it is also very traditional to have DOM after having a baby. Glad you like the taste. My mum said that she was given Guinness by the British nurses (in Singapore) when she had my older sister!

  7. Peter Quinn

    Marvellous write up! So much here that I didn’t know, and thanks for the cocktails too. I’ve bookmarked this page to check out out periodically for more!

  8. Simon Graves

    Bravo! Such an entertaining article, I really enjoyed reading it, and cocktail recipes, please. Much obliged.

  9. John Crowley

    Wow, what a fantastic write up! I was looking for a review of this drink, the history and all the other info is a great bonus! Do you have any other cocktails that uses this? That would be great, as I just got a bottle.

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