Chartreuse liqueur was first distilled in 1737 by a monastery of Carthusian monks in Vauvert, France. The original recipe, given to the monks in 1605, was known as the “Elixir of Long Life” and was intended to be used as a medicine.
But after realizing how tasty it was, they decided to craft a milder version.
It’s made with distilled alcohol aged with 130 herbs. The exact recipe is said to be a guarded secret, known at any given time by only two monks who prepare the herbal mixture.
“Chartreuse is a pre-dinner drink and has the flavors of wormwood and anise,” says Atom Wackrow, bartender at Ovinté. “It gives a drink layers, so in my cocktail La Ultima Palabra, I use yellow chartreuse, maraschino cherry liqueur, lime juice and reposado tequila that blend great together.”