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Sunday, 1 July 2012

Bénédictine Liquor

Dom Bernardo Vincelli, a member of the Benedictine order during the 16th century was an enthusiastic botanist who collected the plants and herbs, which abundantly grew around his local area at Fécamp on the Normandy coast.  Some of the specimens he used for medications, which he prepared for the hospital attached to his monastery. One of these concoctions contained a mixture of various herbs, fruit peels, twenty-eight different aromatic plants, and a fine brandy. When Dom Bernardo first tasted it with his fellow brothers, he immediately remarked on its "refreshing and recuperative" qualities.  The exact formula however was highly classified. Closely guarded, its secret was confined to a maximum of three of his brethren.

Three hundred and fifty years later a French merchant, Alexandre Le Grand, discovered in some family archives Dom Bernardo Vincelli’s old secret recipe for a liqueur. He perfected the formula and began selling the liqueur, which he named Bénédictine as a homage. The bottles of his liqueur contain the inscription Deo, optimo, maximio (or DOM), which translated means “To God, most good, most great”.

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