For those unfamiliar, Chartreuse is a unique herbal liqueur made by Carthusian monks in the mountains of France’s Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes region, and if you’ve encountered it in a cocktail, it’s likely been in the form of a Last Word or Bijou. But this ultra-herbaceous elixir is much more than a key component in classics such as these—especially if your palate is on the adventurous side.
“Chartreuse is not classically used in rum cocktails; however, the herbaceous character can play well with sugar-cane-based distillates,” says Scott Woodworth, who originally created this cocktail for the now-shuttered 12@Madison in Denver. According to Woodworth, his combination of white rum, mezcal, green chartreuse, falernum and freshly-squeezed orange juice “[is] the perfect balance of sweet, savory and citrus,” and according to us, it’s proof that green Chartreuse isn’t just a one-trick pony.
Available in both green and yellow expressions, Chartreuse is unlike any other herbal liqueur on the market, and its origin story is perhaps one of the most intriguing. Nobody—aside from two of the monks who make it, allegedly—knows the actual formula of either one, but we do know that Chartreuse is made from 130 different local botanicals. Both green Chartreuse and yellow Chartreuse are quite complex in flavor profile with notes of licorice, mint, gentian, various flowers and more, though the yellow version is somewhat softer and lighter with more prominent honey and saffron notes. The original formula for Chartreuse is said to date all the way back to 1605, though the first trademark for it was not filed until 1840—either way, it’s worth investing in spirits and cocktails that have remained popular throughout multiple centuries, even if you're not one to follow the masses (in Chartreuse’s case, the masses happen to have great taste).
- 3/4 ounce Matusalem platino rum
- 3/4 ounce mezcal
- 1/2 ounce green Chartreuse
- 1 ounce lime juice, freshly squeezed
- 3/4 ounce orange juice, freshly squeezed
- 1/2 ounce John D. Taylor’s Velvet falernum
- Garnish: lime wedge
Add the rum, mezcal, green Chartreuse, lime juice, orange juice and falernum into a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled.
Strain into a Tiki glass over fresh crushed ice.
Garnish with a lime wedge.