The Benedictine and Brandy cocktail melds the rich and aromatic complexities of Benedictine herbal liqueur with the smooth, warming flavor of fine brandy. With its long and storied history, it’s the perfect drink for those seeking a glimpse into a bygone cocktail era.
The Smooth and Spicy Cocktail
Any cocktail that uses a liqueur blended by monks -- using a secret recipe hundreds of years old -- has got to be good. This one does not disappoint! It is warm, smooth, and has a slight herbal taste from the Benedictine. It starts out rather sweet, and ends with a comforting warmth. While there are other Benedictine cocktails, none compare to the B&B cocktail in taste and smoothness. That is what makes it one of the best classic cocktails.
At the heart of the B&B cocktail lies a unique blend of flavors and tradition. B&B stands for "Bénédictine and Brandy," a harmonious pairing of fine French brandy and herbal liqueur. Dating back to the early 1300’s when people began experimenting with various herbs and spirits for medicinal purposes, this cocktail traces its origins back to the Benedictine monks who crafted Bénédictine D.O.M. in 1510, up to the early 1900s when this cocktail enjoyed a resurgence of popularity.
Bénédictine liqueur, often referred to simply as "Bénédictine," is a complex herbal liquor with a cognac base. Its secret blend of different herbs lends it a slight herbal taste, while the honey-like sweetness adds an extra dimension to its flavor profile. This medicinal tonic has been cherished since its creation by the monks, who believed it possessed healing properties.
How to Drink Benedictine and Brandy
I prefer having this drink served 'up' and in a snifter glass, not a cordial glass. If you're not familiar with this type of glass, then you really should treat yourself. It's designed with a short stem and a large bowl that allows the spirit to evaporate. The narrow top of the glass traps the aroma, allowing you to inhale the spirit for one of the best ways to enjoy this drink. The large bowl of the glass is meant to be cupped in your hand and used to warm the drink a bit.
The Ingredients for a Perfect B&B Cocktail
There is something special about a mixed drink that contains only two ingredients. I love how a "duo" cocktail combines two different spirits into something that tastes better together than the ingredients do on their own. Another example of an excellent duo cocktail is the Classic Martini.
For this Benedictine and Brandy drink recipe you will only need:
- Benedictine liqueur
- Your favorite Brandy
How to make a B&B
This cocktail requires no special tools or shakers. Simply pour the ingredients into a glass together.
Tips for Success
Keep these tips in mind:
- Use a quality brandy that mixes well with the Benedictine.
- Use a snifter if serving 'up'.
- Pre-warm the snifter by running hot water in it first to open up the fragrance of the drink. Some people like to add a lemon twist or orange peel, but I prefer to keep it simple.
- Use a rocks glass if serving over ice.
- Use the back of a bar spoon to 'float' the brandy on top of the thicker Benedictine so there's no need for a mixing glass.
Frequently Asked Questions
This cocktail combines the sweet taste of brandy with the herbal taste of Benedictine, for a bit of a sweet and spicy taste.
Yes, you can. It was originally created to be consumed as a medicinal drink. I like the taste of it by itself just fine.
They are two separate things. Cognac is a variety of brandy that is produced in the Cognac region of France, whereas Benedictine is an herbal liqueur.
The company that produces DOM Benedictine makes a pre-blended B&B liquor which tastes almost as good as making one yourself. I really like the convenience, and the taste is outstanding.
How do you like your B&B's? Straight up or on the rocks?
Before you go, did you try this cocktail? Why not leave a comment in the Comments section along with a rating? I always appreciate hearing from you and getting your feedback.
The B&B Cocktail is Sophisticated, Simple and So Delicious
- 1 ½ ounces Benedictine liqueur
- 1 ½ ounces brandy
- Pre-warm the brandy snifter by pouring a little hot water in the glass. Swirl it around, then discard.
- Pour the jigger of Benedictine into the warm brandy snifter.
- Gently pour the brandy over the back of a bar spoon and let it fall on top of the Benedictine to 'float' it on the thicker liqueur.