Alexandre Le Grand created a recipe for an herbal liqueur in 1863. He was helped by a local chemist. Using old medicinal recipes that he had acquired from a religious foundation where a maternal grandparent had held office as a fiscal prosecutor. Alexandre embellished a story of it created by monks at the Benedictine Abbey of Fécamp in Normandy and manufactured by them until the abbey’s destruction during the French Revolution. He began manufacture under the trade name “Bénédictine,” using a bottle with a distinctive shape and label. To emphasize his myth, he placed the short form “D.O.M.” on the label for “Deo Optimo Maximo” (“God Almighty”), used at the start of documents by the Benedictine Order to dedicate their work.
In 1982 just 15% of the liqueur manufacture was sold in France, with 45% of the stock going to the United States of America. Benedictine is sold in over two hundred marketplaces. The United Kingdom continues a substantial marketplace in Europe, where much of the Bénédictine is eaten in the Burnley area of England. This is a consequence of returning Great War soldiers of the East Lancashire Regiment to gain a taste for the drink while based in France during the War. Customarily individuals in East Lancashire drink Bénédictine with hot water, identified as “Bene ‘n’ ‘ot”, and the Burnley Miners Club is supposedly the most significant single customer. The abbey at Fécamp had been used for a rehabilitation hospital.
In 1986, the Martini & Rossi group took management of Bénédictine. In 1992 they, in turn, were purchased out by Bacardi for a reported $1.4 billion.
By 2010 around 75% of the production was exported. This marked a significant increase in its popularity in France. The biggest consumers of Bénédictine are the United States, Malaysia, and Singapore. The sales to China is expected to eclipse these markets within the next few years