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The chartreuse, the story of a virtuous liquor


The evening of sinking of the titanic, on April 14, 1912, a dessert made from Chartreuse was on the menu for the 1st classes. It was the tenth course, that of "peaches in jelly of Chartreuse" ... Incredible destiny that of this liqueur!

A mysterious origin

It was in 1605 that the monks of the Chartreuse de Vauvert would have received from the Duc d'Estrées, a marshal of Henri IV, a mysterious manuscript with the formula of an elixir of long life, containing almost all medicinal plants. of the time and of which no one knows the origin. Too complex, the recipe seems to have been only partially used for several decades in Paris. In 1735, the monks communicated its formula to their mother house, the Grande-Chartreuse, located in Isère. It is Brother Jérôme Maubec, apothecary of the monastery, who manages to put into practice the virtuous liquor, known as “health”, with 130 plants that have remained secret and which draws at 71 ° C.

A success never denied

Since then, the monks have always distilled in the greatest secrecy and market this legendary liqueur under the name of Elixir plant de la Grande-Chartreuse. The recipe has not changed since 1605, other than two or three ingredients replaced for regulatory reasons. No patent protects the formula, so as not to reveal its composition, and only one copy exists of the grimoire given by the Duke of Estrées.

The product is a huge success, a million bottles come out of the distillery every year. New combinations have given birth to sweeter liqueurs, such as Green Chartreuse or Yellow Chartreuse. The monks also sell walnut water, génépi and fruit liqueurs. Half of sales take place in France, the other half internationally. a liquor particularly appreciated by Americans, who love it.


Video: Green chartreuse tasting (September 2021).