Benedictine: I’m not religious, but it makes me want to pray

Did you know that Bénédictine is celebrating its 500th birthday? This liqueur created by the Bénédictine monks in 1510 is the oldest still in production today. Now, instead of an abby, there is the fairytale-like Bénédictine Palais, in Fécamp, France, where you can see how the spirit is crafted, peruse the museum’s artifacts, AND take in a current art exhibit. When I was a teenager, my mother favored this as a remedy for (ahem) menstrual cramps, so we always had a bottle around. I never thought to make a cocktail with it, that is, until attending the 500th Anniversary Celebration of Bénédictine. Five mixologists competed, adding some amazing ingredients like sweet potato au jus and house-made rose vermouth. Jackson Cannon, seen doing a double shake, above, created the Vincelli Fizz, which got topped with champagne. This got my vote as favorite cocktail. (See all the recipes, winners, and more photos from the event here.) Another cocktail whose season is right now is called Milk and Honey. This would make a great body-warming drink to sip as you come off the ski slopes.
Milk & Honey
1.75 ozs Bénédictine
Hot milk to top off
In a mug or toddy glass, pour in Bénédictine, add warm milk to taste. You can garnish with a slice of orange or cinnamon.

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