As I enjoyed a Bénédictine and hot water recently, the cold rains of autumn tapping on my roof, I reflected on the on the orangey, herbal je ne sais quoi of one of France’s most illustrious liqueurs. That’s not just an expression: I really don’t know what’s in the formula that makes Bénédictine such a sweet, soothing and civilizing influence on the palate. I’m not alone. From the world’s top bartenders to Lancashire miners, lots of people receive the benediction even if very few are privy to the mysterious recipe. And so, a primer.