Chartreuse is a green French herbal liqueur that’s worth adding to your collection! Here’s more about it and how to use it.

Chartreuse

Looking at buying a bottle of Chartreuse, or simply wondering what it is? Here at A Couple Cooks we stumbled upon this green specialty liqueur when we went to make the classic cocktail, the Last Word. But is it worth buying for the amateur home mixologist? The beautiful herbal flavor and unique color makes it worth the splurge, in our minds. Here’s more about it, what it tastes like, and how to use this beautiful French liquor.

What is Chartreuse?

Chartreuse is a French herbal liqueur: the only one in the world with a natural green color. It’s been made by French monks since 1737 using a secret recipe using a blend of 130 different plants and herbs. The name comes from the Grande Chartreuse monastery, located near Grenoble, France.

Chartreuse is available in two varieties: Green Chartreuse is the most common. Yellow Chartreuse is more unique: it has a lower alcohol content than the green variety and is slightly sweeter.

What does Chartreuse taste like?

Chartreuse has a sweet, spicy, and smooth flavor, with a distinctly herbal finish. Tasting notes include mint, sage, gentian, apple, and vanilla.

Are there any substitutes? Chartreuse is a unique liqueur that’s hard to replace. A similar liqueur is bright yellow Galliano, which you might have on hand if you’ve made a Harvey Wallbanger.

Why we like it

Chartreuse has a unique, herbal flavor and a beautifully green color you won’t find in any other liqueur. It’s the star of the classic Last Word, a must-try equal parts cocktail from the 1920’s.

How much does it cost?

Compared to other liquors, Chartreuse is fairly expensive. One 750 ml bottle costs around $60. Keep in mind that you’ll only use small amounts at a time, so the bottle will last you quite a while.

While you can drink Chartreuse straight as a shot or an aperitif, it’s most commonly included in cocktails.

Other cocktails

This liquor is also included in the Fernet Sour Cocktail.

Print
clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Bijou Cocktail

Bijou (Top Chartreuse Drink)


  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 0 minutes
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 1 drink 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

The Bijou cocktail is an impressive classic cocktail! Its name evokes glittering jewels: gin for diamond, vermouth for ruby and Chartreuse for emerald.


Ingredients

Scale
  • For the garnish: Lemon peel, cocktail cherry
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) gin
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) sweet vermouth
  • 1 ounce (2 tablespoons) Chartreuse
  • 2 dashes orange bitters

Instructions

  1. Combine the gin, sweet vermouth, Chartreuse and bitters in a cocktail mixing glass (or any other type of glass). Fill the mixing glass with 1 handful ice and stir continuously for 30 seconds.
  2. Strain the drink into a cocktail glass.
  3. Use a knife to remove a 1″ wide strip of the lemon peel. Squeeze the lemon peel into the drink to release the oils. Gently run the peel around the edge of the glass, then place it in the glass and serve.
  • Category: Drink
  • Method: Shaken
  • Cuisine: Cocktails

Keywords: Chartreuse

More liquor guides

Wondering what orgeat is? Or Aperol or St Germain? What are the Sazerac ingredients, or the best reposado tequila? We’ve got you! Here are a few more guides to liquor:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Meet Sonja and Alex Overhiser: Husband and wife. Expert home cooks. Authors of recipes you'll want to make again and again.

Leave a Comment

Recipe rating

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.