What are Benedictine Substitutes for Desserts and Cooked Dishes?

Benedictine is an expensive old beverage. It’s one of the most requested liquors in bars and restaurants. This alcoholic drink is often used in cooking, and it’s considered as an irreplaceable ingredient. However, there are great benedictine substitutes for cooking, too.

The story of bendictine comes from the 16th century. It was first made in France by monks. Then it became so popular as a delicious ingredient for many dishes and cocktails. 

Since benedictine is not affordable, not all stores offer it. You can consider substitutes that work well in desserts and cooked dishes if it’s not that easy for you to afford it or you have run out of it.  

Best Benedictine Substitutes To Try

Drambuie

Although it’s quite hard to find a suitable substitute for Benedictine, Drambuie is among the beverages that offer similar taste to Benedictine. You can use it in recipes that call for Benedictine. The main ingredient of this  golden liquor is Scotch whiskey. Other ingredients include honey, herbs and spices which make it kind of sweet. 

You can experiment with Drambuie while cooking, as it offers a rich flavor. Replace it with Benedictine in cocktails, desserts and other dishes. It seems as if this beverage has a bolder taste than Benedictine. 

Brandy 

Brandy is made of distilled wines and it is another old beverage to use instead of Benedictine. It contains around 60% alcohol and is usually used in cocktails. Compared to Benedictine, Brandy is more affordable. The older the drink the darker it is in its color. Therefore, if you use aged Brandy it will provide your dish with a stronger flavor. 

You can use it not only in cocktails and syrups but also in sweet and savory meals. Choose it to replace benedictine in puddings, mushrooms, poultry,  flambéing, and prawn pasta. Brandy can be added in sauces and you can maintain it at room temperature. It’s quite easy to find regular brandy in stores. 

Yellow Chartreuse

Another popular French beverage is the yellow Chartreuse. It contains several herbs and comes with 40% of alcohol. This liquor tastes sweet and can substitute to benedictine in cocktails and some recipes. Yellow Chartreuse contains citric, violet, honey, saffron, anise, and licorice. Cooked desserts taste good with it. 

You can use this substitute in Benedictine recipes and in dishes where you want to enhance the flavor and taste of the ingredients. 

Glayva

Made in Edinburgh and sold all over the world, Glayva has been used for several hundred years. This liquor has tasty spices and includes Scotch. Almond, cinnamon, and tangerines blended with honey are included in its recipe. It can make your dishes more delicious by substituting with Benedictine. 

Glayva comes with a dark golden shade which makes cocktails look tastier. As for the taste, it’s quite unique. 

Amaro

Several types of old Italian drinks come for help when French beverages are not available. One of them is Amaro. This exquisite almond-flavored liqueur is made of wine and a bucket of botanical herbs, which make it so requested in cooking. 

Like many other liqueurs, Amaro is usually blended with cocktails. Although it doesn’t taste the same way as Benedictine in cocktails, it offers an amazing flavor and a kind of bitter taste. You can use Amaro to replace Benedictine in cooked dishes. 

Italicus

Here is another Italian beverage to consider when looking for a Benedictine substitute. Italicus is made of 8 different types of herbs and florals which are mixed with aromatic citrus and spirit. This rich combination offers such a well-balanced flavor and taste that you may hardly  guess whether it’s sweet or bitter for sure. 

Italicus is a pale-gold-colored drink that can be described as strong and subtle at the same time. Whether used before or after cooking it can help enhance the flavors of your dishes. 

As it’s not that sweet, you may add some sugar or sweet ingredients in it when using  it for desserts. A few drops of Italicus will make desserts look nicer and tastier. 

Jagermeister

The rich yet well-balanced mixture of citrus peels, saffron, juniper berries, licorice, ginseng and spices provides Jagermeister a sweet and pleasant  flavor. This thick and syrupy drink is quite strong. It contains black licorice notes which make it smell and taste strong. 

You can replace Jagermeister with Benedictine especially in roasted and grilled dishes. Try to use it in small amounts for the best result. 

Chardonnay

One of the most aromatic drinks is known to be Chardonnay. It offers herbal, floral, and spicy flavors which are mixed with 40% of alcohol content. Compared to Bendictine it is a bit sweeter. 


You can use Chardonnay in sweet dessert dishes and drinks. When substituting with Benecitone, make sure you use Chardonnay in smaller amounts as it is sweeter. 

Fernet Branca

The taste of Fernet Branca is described as “aggressive”. Why? Because it is intense in its texture and strong in its herbaceous combination. This drink tastes rather bitter than sweet. It also contains bitter orange in its recipe. 

Sometimes you can use Fernet Branca instead of Benedictine in cooked dishes. Just make sure you use it in small doses otherwise you’ll end up with a strong bitter taste. Fernet Branca is not the perfect choice if you are looking for an exquisite flavor. 

Campari

The next Italian liqueur is Campari. It is made of seeds, herbs, and fruits that taste good both on their own and mixed with cocktails. This drink tastes bitter but it’s difficult to describe the exact taste, as it contains 19 different bitter herbs, aromatic plants and fruits.

Overall Campari provides cocktails and dishes with a unique and intense flavor. Besides cocktails, you can use it in ice cream and pizza recipes. You’ll mostly love its pinkish hue. 

FAQs on Benedictine 

What does Benedictine taste like?

It’s not an easy task to describe the exact taste of Benedictine because it contains 27 different herbs with different flavors and smell. None of those herbs is dominant in this liquor but we can say that it has a sweet flavor due to honey. In a word, Benedictine tastes unique. 

What is the difference between Benedictine and Cognac?

Cognac belongs to Brandy drinks and Benedictine is a herb-based beverage. Cognac has a bit of a syrupy flavor, while Benedictine is richer in its taste thanks to the harmonious mixture of herbs. 

Can you drink Benedcitine straight?

Benedictine is a strong beverage, so drinking it straight is a matter of taste. It’s possible to drink it straight only in small amounts. It is believed that benedictine is good for your health but you can’t misuse it. Benedictine is usually added or mixed with cocktails and cooked dishes. 

How to use Benedictine in cooking?

Some cooks say that they use Benedictine almost in anything they want to make it taste sweet; cocktails, desserts, grilled and roasted dishes as well as some types of soups and sauces. French people love to add it into coffee. This means that you are free to experiment with this sweet liquor in cooking. In order to keep it exquisite and well-balanced with your dish, you’d better try to add small amounts. 

Conclusion

Summing up, we would like to give a piece of advice regarding best usage of Benedictine. The best way to store Benedictine and its substitutes is keeping it in the same bottle in which it was sold. 

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