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Episode 27: Chartreuse
Episode 279th October 2020 • Liquor and Liqueur Connoisseur • Matt Birchard
00:00:00 00:28:45

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Episode 27 features Chartreuse. A favorite spirit of mine, it was partial inspiration for the creation of this podcast. This episode gives the history of the first products produced by Chartreuse, including information on the four expressions available in the United States. Tasting is focused on the Green Chartreuse that is bottled at 55% ABV, or 110 proof.

Enjoy this episode with some Chartreuse, neat, chilled, or try the cocktail The Last Word.

Chartreuse's official website:

Brief Historical Timeline:

  • 1084 - Founding of the Carthusian Order by St. Bruno
  • 1605 - The manuscript listing 130 plants said to be the basis for an elixir of long life is given to the monks by Marshall of France, Francois Annibal d'Estrees
  • 1737 - Brother Gerome Maubec perfects and finishes the recipe for what becomes known as the first liqueur, the Elixir Vegetal de la Grande Chartreuse
  • 1764 - Green Chartreuse is created
  • 1793 - During the French Revolution the Carthusians are expelled from France, taking the original manuscript with them, though it ends up being sold
  • 1810 - Original manuscript is sent to the Ministry of Interior, though returned "refused" because it is not deemed to be secret, the Carthusians eventually regain the original manuscript
  • 1838 - Yellow Chartreuse is created
  • 1884 - First written record of Chartreuse being used as a color name
  • 1903 - French government nationalizes the Chartreuse distillery and the monks are again expelled from France
  • 1900s - During their expulsion from France, liqueur production shifts to Tarragona, Spain
  • 1920s - Production is done at a second distillery in Marselle, France
  • 1929 - The Carthusians regain control of their French trademarks and return to their monastery
  • 1935 - A landslide destroys the distillery in Fourvoirie, near the monastery
  • 1936 - Distillery moves to Voiron, France, a town near the monastery
  • 1963 - The V.E.P. editions of Green and Yellow Chartreuse are first released
  • 1970 - Carthusians form the company "Chartreuse Diffusion" to handle bottling, packaging, advertising and sales
  • 2017 - New distillery opens in Aiguenroire, closer to the monastery

Key Cocktails:

Chartreuse is very complex, but was originally produced as a medicine. It therefore works great to sooth a cold, when mixed with some hot water. Recreationally, you can enjoy it neat, chilled, served on ice, or mixed in cocktails.

The Last Word:

3/4 oz. Green Chartreuse

3/4 oz. Gin

3/4 oz. Lime Juice

3/4 oz. Maraschino Liqueur

Shake over ice, strain into a chilled cocktail glass, enjoy!


YouTube video featuring the export manager for Chartreuse and the West Coast Sales Rep, from 2018.

Wikipedia article on Carthusians

Wikipedia article on Chartreuse

Wikipedia article on Chartreuse (the color)

Wikipedia article on Grande Chartreuse

Spruce Eats recipe for The Last Word

Contact Information:

Official show website is:



Twitter: @LLConnoisseur