Burnley FC ousts Champagne in favour of Bénédictine

In acknowledgement of its longstanding relationship with Bénédictine, Burnley Football Club has replaced Champagne with the French herbal liqueur as the tipple awarded to each man of the match.

The first man of the match presentation after the partnership was announced took place last weekend. Burnley’s striker Ashley Barnes picked up the prize after his team achieved a 3-0 victory over Southampton.

The liqueur brand, which is flavoured with 27 herbs and spices including saffron and angelica root, was launched in the 19th century and is said to have been made according to a 1510 recipe devised by the Benedictine monk Dom Bernardo Vincelli.

Burnley FC’s home ground, Turf Moor, is the only football stadium in the UK which serves the liqueur. A popular half time serve is the Béné & Hot, a combination of Bénédictine and hot water, with Burnley fans consuming 1,500 bottles of the liqueur last season alone – roughly equating to 30 bottles a match.

The hot cocktail was favoured by the East Lancashire Regiment who were stationed in Fécamp, Normandy during the First World War. The soldiers then proceeded to bring their fondness for the tipple home with them, with the town of Burnley having a strong association with the brand ever since.

Anthony Fairclough, head of commercial affairs at Burnley Football Club, said: “Bénédictine is one of our most popular match day drinks, so the club is thrilled to be partnering with the brand for our man of the match presentations.

“We’ve been selling Béné & Hot on the terraces for over a century now, so this feels like a fitting and unique way to commemorate our town’s history with the liqueur.”

After distillation, the 40% ABV flavoured liqueur is aged for eight months before saffron and honey is added, and is then heated and given a final four months in oak before being filtered and bottled.

Philippe Jouhaud, marketing director for Bénédictine liqueur, added: “Over the years, we have enjoyed incredible support from Burnley Football Club. We’re proud to bring about the first ever Bénédictine Man of the Match, and hope the team enjoy their limited-edition prizes!

“There is no better way to thank the club for its loyal patronage for 100 years and counting.”

This follows news in April that the English Football Association (FA) removed the traditional Champagne celebrations following the FA Cup final, replacing the fizz with a non-alcoholic substitute.

In a statement provided to Reuters, the FA explained that Champagne had been removed for reasons associated with religion and the age of players within some teams.

Meanwhile, in March, Aberdeen Football Club lost its legal battle with Sherry producer Don Fino over the name of its blended whisky label. The club applied to register two trademarks, The Dons Dram and Dons Dram, in September 2017 after partnering with a local distillery to create its blended whisky.

Sandeman however, which owns the Sherry label Don Fino, objected to the move, arguing that it infringed on its own trademark which has been registered in various forms for close to a century.

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