Burnley Miner’s Club in North West England is, you might think somewhat bizarrely, thought to be the world’s biggest single account for sales of Bénédictine. Its 700-odd members consume around 48 bottles each week. This conspicuous liqueur consumption dates back to after the Second World War when the men of the 11th battalion of the East Lancashire regiment were based in Normandy. They discovered the local liqueur, Bénédictine, which they drunk as a grog with hot water. This firm favourite of the regiment became known as a ‘Benny and Hot’ and its popularity travelled home with the troops to Lancashire towns such as Accrington and Burnley.
At Burnley Miner’s Club the Benny & Hot is served 50/50 Bénédictine liqueur and hot water with a squeeze of lemon juice. I have not visited the club myself and it was Ludovic Miazga, Bénédictine’s charismatic French brand ambassador, who recounted the serve he discovered while visiting the club. I must have looked sceptical because he was emphatic. “No bullshit,” he said, before adding: “Excuse my French”. It’s not every day you hear an actual Frenchman say “Excuse my French” – so it must be true.