Chartreuse: A Liqueur That Survived The French Revolution

  • Post category:Liquor

Undoubtedly, European settlers were the first to introduce alcohol into America and then, it spread its roots to other nearby nations. Nowadays, every other nation is building up a liqueur business. France is no behind. Today, we will discuss a very famous French liqueur Chartreuse.

The Carthusian Monks have been making this liquor in the Alpine caves for over 4 centuries now. It was first introduced in 1605 and is a popular drink ever since. The recipe was handed over to Carthusian Monks in 1605 and they kept the formula protected by vows of silence ever since. Only these Carthusian monks can make this herbal liqueur since they’ve been keeping the recipe a secret from the world. It is no doubt that this liqueur has its own historical importance among all others of its category.

History of the Elixir of Life:

Initially, the Carthusian monks made chartreuse a medicinal drink. This is why they added so many hidden herbs in it. The liqueur was the elixir of life made with herbs to serve as a medicine. Because of the alcoholic properties and sweet minty taste of this drink, people started consuming it as a beverage. The monks had to make some more of it with some reformation in the recipe. That liqueur was named the Green Chartreuse.

Recipe of the drink was almost revealed to the world during the French Revolution when it got stolen from the monks. Somehow, the recipe was restored back to the Carthusian monks and they again reformed it to make a little lesser alcoholic version of the same called the Yellow chartreuse. Only the two Carthusian monks know the recipe of the drink today. In case we lose them, we lose the drink.

Types of Chartreuse Liqueur

Chartreuse Liqueur

Depending on the color, taste and herbal properties, this liqueur comes in two types widely named after colors. They are; green and yellow. This liquor is also available in Rare vep.

Among the 2 widely available types, the Green one has more herbal properties and is more historical. You can easily choose your favorite liquor among the two by analysing what color chartreuse is. Is it chartreuse green or chartreuse yellow? Your choice might need some characteristics and important qualities of the two Liqueurs separately to know your fit.

Green Chartreuse: This very famous liqueur was first made in 1605. It is older than the yellow one. With 55% alcohol by volume, it is stronger and wilder than the other one. Green Chartreuse is also very expensive. The drink is made up of a good mixture of hidden herbs, spices, water and sugar. Even today, the recipe of this liqueur is incomplete without the most important 120 alpine herbs.

Yellow Chartreuse: As compared to Green Chartreuse, it is milder and sweeter. It is made up of 130 herbs and is as equally herbal as the Green one. The Yellow Chartreuse was first introduced in 1838 and is in demand ever since. It is the most sold liqueur of all time because of its inexpensiveness and herbal qualities. The Yellow Chartreuse has only 40% alcohol by volume.

White Chartreuse: This type of liqueur is no longer available in the present time. It was only sold between 1860 and 1900. Some people must have be having it saved in their wine and liquor collection but it is no more available in stores today. It is believed that the White Chartreuse had 30% alcohol by volume and was very light to consume.

Flavor of Chartreuse

Everyone wants to know the taste of a drink before trying it. After all, everyone chooses the drink according to their tongue preferences. Talking about the taste of Chartreuse, it is sweet, with some sour lemony taste. Having a lot of herbs in it, this liqueur has a herbal sweet aroma which is very pleasant.

It can taste like a mixture of cloves and other hard spices. It is minty too. The melting honey flavor of Chartreuse makes one go, Lala. The flavor of this liqueur can vary from type to type like the Green chartreuse is stronger and less sweet than the Yellow one. When we talk about the taste of Yellow Chartreuse, it is totally herbal with a sour taste and a lot of spices. It is sweet because of honey.

This liqueur is so strong that it is advised to serve only a few drops of it in any cocktail. It can be consumed directly but then, it has to be chilled. Usually, this drink is served at room temperature in a moderate amount. The flavor of your drink can change from temperature to temperature.

How to make Chartreuse Cocktails?

Cocktails of this herbal liqueur are widely consumed in evening parties and pubs. Making a chartreuse cocktail is as easy as anything. Both types of liqueur can be used to make Cocktails for your evening party. Learn the recipe and rock your show. Here is a little how-

Green Chartreuse Cocktail-

These types of cocktails are the life of a party. Here’s the recipe of one-


  1. Ice
  2. 2 ounces of blue coat gin
  3. 3 course of Green Chartreuse
  4. ¾ ounces of lemon juice
  5. ½ ounces of simple sugar syrup
  6. Lemon
  7. Yellow Chartreuse


Take a Tumblr and add some fill it with ice to half. Now add 2 ounces of blue coat gin and mix well. Add 3 courses of green liqueur and ¾ ounces of lemon juice. Add ½ ounces of simple sugar syrup. Mix it all well.

Slice a lemon in two and slide it on the rim of a martini glass save some smashed rock candy made of Yellow Chartreuse after vaporizing the liquid content? Dip the lemon applied rim of a martini glass on the rock candy. Serve your cocktail in the glass. Ta-da! You’re party-ready.

Yellow Chartreuse Cocktail-

The yellow Chartreuse is also famous for its cocktails. One of the very famous cocktails made with this drink is Shanghai Gin. Here’s how you can make it-


  1. Ice
  2. ¾ ounces gin
  3. ¾ ounces Yellow Chartreuse
  4. ¾ ounces Benedictine
  5. ¾ ounces Lemon juice
  6. ½ lemon wheel 


Take some ice and put it on Tumblr. Now add ¾ ounces of gin, ¾ ounces of lemon juice and ¾ ounces of Yellow liqueur in the Tumblr. Shake it well. Add ¾ ounces of Benedictine to it and again shake it well for 8 to 10 seconds.

Your Shanghai Gin is ready to serve. Strain it in a cocktail glass and garnish with ½ lemon wheel. Your cocktail is ready.

Facts about Chartreuse drink

This drink is of the same color. It appears cool yet warm to the eyes. The color code of Chartreuse is #DFFF00. Funny that even when the drink is itself a color, it still uses the color prefixes in its title to differentiate it into two properties.

The Alcohol Content of Chartreuse

Chartreuse is known for its herbal and medicinal properties. There is no denial of the fact that the liquor has alcohol content in it. The alcohol content in Green and yellow Chartreuse is different. There is 55% alcohol by volume in Green while only 40% alcohol by volume in Yellow. The White chartreuse had only 30% abv.

How to drink?

The very herbal sweet liqueur is also a very strong drink. One can consume it directly at a very chilled temperature or mix it up with rum, whiskey, and gin to make a perfect blend of the cocktail. People use this drink moderately as a medicine for its hidden herbal properties. The mint and lemony flavor of the liqueur makes it a suitable digestion beverage for every household.

Green chartreuse is usually served as a liqueur for its strong taste and high abv while the yellow one is finding its way every year into new cocktail recipes.

How is it healthy?

Chartreuse is a herbal liquor. It is consumed for various health benefits. A person suffering from the common cold virus is more likely to get into a better physical state by consuming this drink than by consuming any other antibiotic medicine. The herbal properties of the liqueur make it a health benefitting drink. This herbal liqueur is also called the elixir of life for the same reason. It is made with elixirs.

Chartreuse, rather than being a liqueur is a beverage. It is good for digestion. This is why it is served after dinner to digest heavy food.

Chartreuse: Where to buy?

As we have already explained that this drink is not just a liqueur but is also a beverage and herbal medicine, it is easily available in nearby stores. These types of drinks can be a little expensive but you can buy it online on discount easily. Buying chartreuse is no big deal. It is not even illegal to sell it without a license.


The first-ever liqueur that was named after color is ‘Chartreuse’. This liquor has medicinal properties and is also called ‘Elixir of Life’. Since historical times, people have been consuming this expensive liqueur as a medicine for common cold and digestion.

Even today, the liqueur is consumed for its herbal properties as a medicine and sometimes in households too as a beverage after the meal. The green one is the strongest and oldest of all. The white liqueur is no more available while the Yellow one is mostly used in cocktails.

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