Chartreuse is a green French herbal liqueur that’s worth adding to your collection! Here’s more about it and how to use it.
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 completely natural green color. It’s been made by French monks since the 1737 using a secret recipe using a blend of 130 different plants and herbs (really, though it sounds too mythical). 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.
Why we like it
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.
Most popular Chartreuse cocktails
While you can drink Chartreuse straight as a shot or an aperitif, it’s most commonly included in cocktails.
- Don’t want to follow a recipe? Mix 1 ounce with 4 times the champagne, like a Kir Royale. Or try it with 3 times the soda water, like a spritzer.
- Want a cocktail? Try it in one of these popular Chartreuse cocktails:
This liquor is also included in the Fernet Sour Cocktail.Print
The Bijou cocktail is an impressive classic cocktail! Its name evokes glittering jewels: gin for diamond, vermouth for ruby and Chartreuse for emerald.
- 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
- 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.
- Strain the drink into a cocktail glass.
- 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
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:
- Quick Guide to Absinthe This formerly banned liquor is now in good graces.
- Guide to Grenadine It’s mistaken as cherry, but this bright syrup has a secret.
- Quick Guide to Bourbon All you need to know about this American spirit.
- Guide to Grand Marnier This top shelf orange liqueur is absolutely worth writing home about.
About the Authors
Sonja Overhiser is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best healthy cookbooks of 2018. She’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the food blog A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Sonja seeks to inspire adventurous eating to make the world a better place one bite at a time.
Alex Overhiser is an acclaimed food photographer and author based in Indianapolis. He’s host of the food podcast Small Bites and founder of the recipe website A Couple Cooks. Featured from the TODAY Show to Bon Appetit, Alex is author of Pretty Simple Cooking, named one of the best vegetarian cookbooks by Epicurious.