All About Chartreuse, and How to Make the Last Word Cocktail

Categories: Last Call

ChartreuseLiqueurJKGrence.JPG
JK Grence
Like Quentin Tarantino's character said in Death Proof, "The only liqueur so good they named a color after it."

These days, a sure sign of autumn's arrival (or at least what passes for it in these parts) is the reintroduction of pumpkin spice-flavored everything on store shelves.

I have a better idea. Let's break out the Chartreuse.

What is Chartreuse, you ask? For starters, it's a yellow-green color. It's also a very delicious French herbal liqueur. In case you were wondering, the color was named for the liqueur. Cool, huh? The spirit is made by monks up in the French Alps. It's said that they use over 130 various herbs and plants to make the liqueur.

Since there's so many botanicals (and the monks who make it are famously secretive about the recipe), it's very hard to pin down the exact flavor. I get quite a bit of thyme and mint when I taste it. Beyond that, it's like drinking the essence of an alpine meadow.

Chartreuse is an acquired taste. Part of the reason is its very green flavor; another reason is that the original green Chartreuse is a whopping 110 proof. There is also a yellow Chartreuse, which is more accessible thanks to a sweeter flavor and being only 80 proof. Personally, I say go right for the green.



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