Chartreuse Day – only 2 monks know the recipe!

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Today is Chartreuse Day, a day celebrating the French liqueur made by monks to the recipe given to them back in 1605.  Find out about its history, the products, and some cocktail recipes.

Chartreuse Day

What is Chartreuse?

Chartreuse is a French liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks since 1737. It is made following the instructions set out in a manuscript for an Elixir which was given to them by François Annibal d’Estrées in 1605 Marshal of King’s Henri IV artillery. This elixir took on the nickname of the “Elixir of Long Life”.


Chatreuse is composed of distilled alcohol aged with 130 herbs, plants and flowers. The liqueur is named after the Monks’ Grande Chartreuse monastery, located in the Chartreuse Mountains in the general region of Grenoble in France.


Only two Chartreuse monks know the identity of the 130 plants, how to blend them and how to distill them into this world-famous liqueur. They are also the only ones who know which plants they have to macerate to produce the natural green and yellow colours. And they alone supervise the slow ageing in oak casks.


Chartreuse products

Here are a few of the chartreuse products made by the Carthusian Monks:

  • Green Chartreuse – the original chartreuse and the only liqueur in the world with a completely natural green colour. Made since 1737. 55% alcohol content.
  • Herbal Elixir de la Grande Chartreuse is a cordial, a liqueur and a very effective tonic. -made by the Chartreuse Monks since 1764 according to the instructions set out in the secret manuscript given to them by Duc d’Estrées in 1605.
  • Yellow Chartreuse was introduced to the world in 1840. It also milder and sweeter than the famous Green Chartreuse. Its colour is entirely natural with no artificial flavours or preservatives. It, too, can be enjoyed neat or in a long drink.
  • V.E.P Yellow Chartreuse (42%) and V.E.P Green Chartreuse (54%) made using the same processes and the same secret formula as the traditional liqueur, and by extra long ageing in oak casks it reaches an exceptional quality. (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé)
  • Chartreuse 1605 – Liqueur d’Elixir – was created in 2005 to commemorate the 400th anniversary of the Manuscript. 56% alcohol content.


A history of Chartreuse Day

Chartreuse Day is held on 16th May every year (since the first one in 2005). The date was chosen in a nod to the year in which the manuscript was given to the Carthusian monks.

In 2005, to mark the first Chartreuse Day, Chartreuse produced Chartreuse 1605, a special green chartreuse.


Chartreuse Day Events 

We’ve found a few events celebrating Chartreuse Day happening today in New South Wales and Victoria.




Holwin’ Woof Bar Wollongong

This Wollongong Bar has an annual celebration of Chartreuse and the “genius elixir creating Carthusian Monks”

$10 Treuse and Juice & $15 Chartreuse cocktails til 10pm.




Chartreuse 1605 x Katuk Bar Trade Masterclass

Join Chartreuse National Brand Ambassador Andy Buntine for a journey through the rich history of the Chartreuse liqueurs and taste the Elixir de Vegetal, Green, Yellow, MOFS, 1605 and 9th Century.

This is a free event to attend. You will taste six Chartreuse releases plus a welcome drink on arrival.


Chartreuse x Loch & Key Bar Takeover – HOSPO event

Chartreuse Australia have planned a celebration of the resilience of Melbourne hospitality through the past 12 months. They are hosting an event at Loch & Key with some great Chartreuse drink specials and a space for hospitality staff to unwind and meet others in the industry.



There is a Chartreuse 1605 Street Party in Daylesford at Bistro Terroir

French Mountain Food, Chartreuse Cocktails, Giveaways and live Music 12-3pm

No bookings required just swing by.


Chartreuse Day cocktails

Chartreuse National Brand Ambassador Andy Buntine suggests a winter chartreuse cocktail for Chartreuse Day: the amazing Green Chaud – 30ml Green Chartreuse in a cup of hot chocolate. The perfect Après Ski drink.


Chartreuse Australia also recently shared this chartreuse cocktail recipe for Cocktail Day: the Chartreuse Bijou.

20ml Green Chartreuse

20ml Martin Millers Gin

20ml Sweet vermouth

Dash of orange bitters

Stir with ice and strain into a chilled cocktail glass then garnish with a lemon twist.


Chartreuse Smash

This is refreshing, sweet but not too sweet. Whether it’s for a quiet night in, or a dinner get together, you’ll love this one!

60ml Green Chartreuse

Chartreuse Smash
Chartreuse Smash

30ml Fresh lemon juice

2 tsp Turbinado sugar

10 mint leaves

1 sprig of mint for garnish

Place mint, lemon and sugar in a cocktail shaker and muddle. Add Chartreuse and fill with ice. Shake thoroughly, and strain into a glass filled with crushed ice. Garnish with mint sprig.


Chartreuse Swizzle

Chartreuse Swizzle is a variation of the classic Rum Swizzle, however with Chartreuse’s herbaceous profile presents a vastly different flavour profile.

37.5ml Green Chartreuse

30ml Pineapple juice

22.5ml Fresh lime juice

15ml Falernum

Combine all ingredients into a Collins glass. Swizzle (or stir) until your glass frosts up on the outside. Garnish with a pineapple wedge and slice of lime.


The Last Word

This was one of the first pre-Prohibition drinks to lead the cocktail revival. Start your own cocktail revival with this easy to follow recipe.

20ml Green Chartreuse

20ml Martin Miller’s Gin

20ml Maraschino liqueur

20ml Fresh lime juice


Add all the ingredients to a cocktail shaker filled with ice, shake well and fine strain into a chilled cocktail glass. Garnish with a cherry and enjoy.


Chartreuse food pairings

Chartreuse National Brand Ambassador Andy Buntine says:

For food pairings, I find it works best as a digestive, matched with some of the amazing cheeses that are produced in the Dauphine region, with chocolate or poached pears.

What’s your favourite way to drink Chartreuse? Happy Chartreuse Day!



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One thought on “Chartreuse Day – only 2 monks know the recipe!

  1. Jules 17 May 2021 / 7:12 pm


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