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Monte Carlo

The Monte Carlo cocktail is a refined and effortlessly crafted libation that promises sophistication with every sip. This drink is a unique but simple twist on the timeless Manhattan, replacing sweet vermouth with the complex and herbal notes of Benedictine. A dash of Angostura bitters further elevates the flavor profile, resulting in a velvety and well-balanced cocktail that is sure to impress your palate.

monte carlo cocktail mixed with house-made bitters and an orange peel.

What sets the Monte Carlo apart is not just its intriguing flavor combination but also its ability to evoke a sense of elegance and ease. The absence of sweet vermouth allows the herbal warmth of Benedictine to take center stage, creating a drink that is both comforting and complex. Although the Monte Carlo cocktail has a historical connection to the glamour of the Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco, its appeal extends far beyond the confines of its origin.

Impress your guests with this tasteful creation that transcends time while maintaining its relevance in the contemporary cocktail scene.


The Monte Carlo cocktail is a classic cocktail that has been around since at least 1948. The drink is believed to have originated in the United States, but its exact origins are unknown. The earliest printed recipe for the Monte Carlo can be found in David Embury’s book, “The Fine Art of Mixing Drinks.”

The Monte Carlo is a rye whiskey variation of the older Kentucky Colonel cocktail, which uses bourbon instead. The drink features rye whiskey, Benedictine, and aromatic bitters. Benedictine is a French liqueur made from a secret blend of 27 herbs and spices.

See also  Fig Old Fashioned

The Monte Carlo is often described as a Manhattan with Benedictine in place of vermouth. The drink is usually served on the rocks and is a bit on the sweet side. Overall, the Monte Carlo is a classic cocktail that has stood the test of time and is still enjoyed by cocktail enthusiasts today.

How to Make It

monte carlo cocktail mixed with house-made bitters and an orange peel.

Monte Carlo

Yield: 1
Prep Time: 3 minutes
Total Time: 3 minutes

Making a Monte Carlo cocktail is easy and requires only a few ingredients.

Here's how you can make it:


  • 2 oz rye whiskey
  • ½ oz Bénédictine liqueur
  • 1 dash Angostura bitters
  • Lemon peel, for garnish


  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice.
  2. Add the rye whiskey, Bénédictine liqueur, and aromatic bitters.
  3. Stir the mixture for about 30 seconds until it is well-chilled.
  4. Strain the mixture into a chilled cocktail glass with one large ice cube.
  5. Garnish with a twist of lemon peel.

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There are several variations of the Monte Carlo cocktail, each with its own unique twist. Here are a few:

Monte Cassino

This variation swaps out the Benedictine for maraschino liqueur, resulting in a sweeter and fruitier drink. Use 1/2 oz. maraschino liqueur instead of Benedictine.

Monte Carlo Royale

This version uses cognac instead of rye whiskey, and adds a splash of champagne for a touch of effervescence. Use 1 1/2 oz. cognac, 1/2 oz. Benedictine, and top with champagne.

See also  Waldorf 

Monte Carlo Swizzle

This refreshing take on the Monte Carlo adds lime juice and mint for a bright and herbal twist. Use 1 1/2 oz. rye whiskey, 1/2 oz. Benedictine, 1 oz. lime juice, and a few sprigs of fresh mint. Muddle the mint in the mixing glass before adding the other ingredients.

Please drink responsibly, be fully accountable with your alcohol consumption, and show others respect.

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