Green Chartreuse - Drink Secrets

Green Chartreuse

The One and Only Green Chartreuse


Made popular by the 1740's, this is one of the few types of liquor that continues to approach perfection from its seat in the bottle. This French liquor was first bottled by Carthusian Monks when they were approached by King Henry IV's master of artillery with a recipe for an elixir. This magic recipe was to grant long life and good health to any who drank it and contained over 130 herbal extracts, flowers, and other secret ingredients! It begins from a wine alcohol as the base and is blended to perfection. It is bottled in a clear, wine-style bottle and has a light greenish yellow tint, although many counterfeits have been attempted without success.


The Carthusian Monks were exiled from France in 1793 and were given permission to return many years later, when they resumed the manufacture of their spirit. Some decades later, the monks developed a more yellow drink, due to the addition of saffron, and aptly called it Yellow Chartreuse. Sweeter than its predecessor, it contained 40% alcohol. Some decades after that, the whole process repeated due to French law and the monks had to leave again. The distillery was then seized by the French government who then tried to continue the manufacture of Chartreuse. Their guesses at the secret formula went terribly wrong and sales dropped as a disappointed public stopped buying in unison. Meanwhile, the monks had travelled to Spain and had continued to brew their brew under a label saying that it was bottled in Tarragon by Carthusian Fathers to tip off any prospective buyer as to its true identity. Back in France, the distillery went bankrupt and a group of local businessmen bought the rights to the name and place of the legendary brew and sent the rights to the astranged monks in Spain as a gift. Happily, the monks returned to their home and their work where this magic liquid is still brewed today.


This liquor is very classy and is enjoyed in said fashion in dozens of cocktails or by itself. Drinks worth trying for the uniqueness of the drink include the Golden Slipper Variation, made with eau de vie, Green Chartreuse and egg yolk. If that isn't enough to raise the eyebrow, the drink, chilled and alone or over ice should do the trick. Herby and hot, its flavor is that of pine and mint with a surprising warmth that compliments its aroma. The aftertaste is a memory of the flavor and shows the consumer why it was used medicinally. A fine drink carries with it a fine price! You can expect to pay between $85 and $200 per one- and two-liter bottle and you will probably have to request it.

Drinks with: Green Chartreuse

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