Green or yellow, Chartreuse is forever engulfed in mystery. Both varieties of the liqueur are believed to be made with 130 different herbs, spices and flowers, but the exact formulas are closely guarded secrets.
The original recipe dates back to 1605, when it was supposedly presented to Carthusian monks by a marshal of Henry IV. The proportions have been protected by a vow of silence ever since.
The intensely herbal liqueur was first used for medicinal purposes, but the recipe evolved into today’s Green Chartreuse, which is bottled at 110 proof and bears brighter, sharper botanicals and spices than that of its yellow counterpart. Yellow Chartreuse, introduced many years later, is bottled at 80 proof and is likely flavored with saffron and honey, offering a sweet alternative that fares well with brown, barrel-aged spirits, while the Green prefers gin and tequila.
No matter which hue you choose, this centuries-old liqueur is worth experimenting with. Try charming your tequila with Green Chartreuse and jalapeño, or conjuring sunshine with Yellow Chartreuse and honeydew syrup. The effects will be spellbinding.