Monte Carlo Cocktail Recipe

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Monte Carlo Nutrition Facts






Created by

Nic Polotnianko

I fell in love with the art of mixology 6 years ago. Since then, I've honed my skills, crafting a myriad of cocktail recipes, and sharing my passion with other enthusiasts.

Last Updated: January 7, 2024


The Monte Carlo cocktail is a classic whiskey-based drink with a rich history dating back to the early 20th century. It is believed to have originated in the glamorous Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco, where high rollers and celebrities would enjoy this sophisticated libation.

  • The Monte Carlo is a variation of the classic Old Fashioned cocktail
  • It gained popularity in the 1930s and 1940s
  • The drink is often associated with luxury and high society

How Monte Carlo Tastes?

The Monte Carlo cocktail is a smooth, rich, and slightly sweet drink with a hint of herbal bitterness from the Benedictine. It has a strong whiskey flavor, balanced by the sweetness of the syrup and the warmth of the bitters.

Interesting facts about Monte Carlo

  • The Monte Carlo is often served as an after-dinner drink, as its flavors pair well with desserts and cigars
  • The drink is named after the famous Monte Carlo Casino in Monaco
  • The Monte Carlo is sometimes garnished with a lemon twist, adding a subtle citrus aroma


Rye Whiskey

Rye Whiskey packs a spicy punch that serves as the backbone of the Monte Carlo. It's not too much nor too little at 2 oz; just enough to let the whiskey shine without overwhelming the Benedictine's sweeter, herbal qualities. Without it, you'd have a very different cocktail on your hands, perhaps a bit too sweet and lacking the signature spiciness.

Emma Rose


Benedictine is like the secret spice blend in your grandma's famous recipe—it's got that 'What's that flavor?' quality. At 0.5 oz, it sweetens the deal without upstaging the whiskey, and its herbal complexity adds depth. Miss it out, and the cocktail loses its intriguing character.

Alex Green

Aromatic Bitters

Think of two dashes of aromatic bitters as the salt and pepper of the drink. They're small but mighty, adding a layer of depth that ties everything together. It's a balancing act; too little and the drink can be too sweet, too much and it can become too bitter.

Mary Mitkina

Lemon Twist

The lemon twist is the zestful finishing touch that brightens up the whole affair. The oils provide a fresh aroma that contrasts nicely with the darker liquor, and the visual appeal is not to be underestimated. No lemon twist means a less inviting first sip.

Emma Rose

Recipe. How to make Monte Carlo Drink

  1. Fill a mixing glass with ice
  2. Add 2 oz of rye whiskey
  3. Add 0.5 oz of Benedictine
  4. Add 2 dashes of aromatic bitters
  5. Stir the mixture until well chilled
  6. Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass
  7. Garnish with a lemon twist

Pro Tips

  • Rye Whiskey: Use a high-quality rye whiskey for the best flavor.
  • Benedictine: This herbal liqueur is key to the Monte Carlo's unique flavor, but be careful not to overdo it.
  • Chilling: Make sure to stir the cocktail until it's well chilled. This not only makes the drink more enjoyable, but it also helps to properly blend the flavors.

Perfect Pairings


  • Cheese Platter: A selection of aged cheeses such as Gouda, Cheddar, or Manchego complements the spicy notes of rye whiskey.
  • Smoked Salmon: The smoky flavors harmonize with the herbal notes of the Benedictine.

Main Courses

  • Grilled Steaks: The robust flavor of red meat pairs well with the boldness of the rye in the cocktail.
  • Roasted Duck: Its rich flavor matches the complexity of the Monte Carlo.


  • Dark Chocolate: A piece of dark chocolate will bring out the sweetness of the Benedictine.
  • Pecan Pie: The nuttiness of the pie echoes the nutty and herbal notes of the cocktail.

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What you could change in Monte Carlo

  • Rye Whiskey: Bourbon can be used as a substitute if rye whiskey is not available.
  • Benedictine: If you can't find Benedictine, Drambuie or Chartreuse can be used, but keep in mind that the flavor will be different.
  • Aromatic Bitters: Orange bitters can be used as a substitute.

Explore all drinks starting with M here

And of course - twists🍹

Monte Carlo Royale

Just like the original, but with a splash of champagne for a bubbly twist. It’ll lighten the drink, add some fizz, and make it feel more celebratory.

Monte Crisp

Swap out the rye whiskey for apple brandy. This will give the cocktail a fruity twist, perfect for autumn evenings by the fire.

Monte Car-NO

For a non-alcoholic version, use non-alcoholic whiskey alternatives and a non-alcoholic herbal syrup. This twist allows everyone to enjoy the complexity of a Monte Carlo without the buzz.

In case you forgot basics how to make Monte Carlo

Place your chosen strainer on top of the shaker or mixing glass, ensuring a secure fit. Pour the cocktail into a glass through the strainer, which will catch solid ingredients and ice. If double straining, hold the fine mesh strainer between the shaker and the glass.

Learn everything on how to strain

Insert the spoon into the glass until it touches the bottom. Keep the back of the spoon against the inside wall of the glass, and stir in a smooth, circular motion. The goal is to swirl the ice and ingredients together without churning or splashing.

Learn everything on how to stir

Garnishing a bar drink depends on the type of garnish and the cocktail. Generally, it involves preparing the garnish (like cutting a citrus wheel or picking a sprig of mint), and then adding it to the drink in a visually appealing way (like perching it on the rim or floating it on top).

Learn everything on garnishing

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Frequently Asked Questions on Monte Carlo

What glassware is traditionally used to serve a Monte Carlo?

Typically, a Monte Carlo is served in an old-fashioned glass, also known as a rocks glass. However, it may also be served in a coupe glass for additional elegance.

What type of meal does the Monte Carlo cocktail pair well with?

Given its smooth, rich and slightly sweet taste, the Monte Carlo cocktail pairs well with heavy meals such as a well-marinated steak or a hearty roast.

What makes Rye Whiskey different from other types of whiskey?

Rye whiskey is made from at least 51% rye and it typically has a spicy or fruity flavor compared to the sweet, rich flavor of bourbon, which is primarily corn.

What type of flavor does Benedictine add to the cocktail?

Benedictine is an herbal liqueur made from 27 different herbs and spices, giving it a complex flavor profile that's a blend of sweet honey and tart citrus.

How do I properly stir a cocktail?

You should stir a cocktail with a long cocktail spoon, moving in a circular motion until the cocktail is well mixed. Generally, the goal is to chill the drink and dilute it slightly.

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