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This drink is simply divine.
I am not a spirits drinker. I hate whisky, vodka and gin. I DO like Sambuca, so maybe people out there who love Sambuca will share my appreciation of Chartreuse..... not that they taste alike. They don't, although there is something aniseedy about Chartreuse too. I don't like liqueurs either, even though I think Chartreuse likes to think it is one. It is different to anything else. It is unique. It's made by French monks, so it's obviously going to be pretty weird!
Chartreuse has the same kind of taste as mouthwash. It is minty and hot and a little syrupy. It can really burn your mouth if you hold it there for long enough and it can cause you to salivate like a rabid dog (in a nice way?! :-S).
At 55% this stuff has got one hell of a kick to it, and you can quite easily find yourself getting as drunk as a punk without realising you were. I mostly drink Chartreuse neat, but over ice in the summer is nice, and occasionally in hot chocolate in winter. The hot chocolate one is a risky business though, I still haven't figured out the best ratios on that one though and I have been known to pour the odd disgusting mugful down the sink. BE WARNED!
Not many people know the full ingredients used in making Chartreuse. The monks who make it are a secretive bunch. But, it;s said 130 plants/herbs go into it. The end result is a fantastic sweet, warm, complex taste that leaves me glowing. I quite often open the bottle and just breath in the aroma for a few seconds and then put the top back on, smelling it is enough to make me feel cosy and yummy!
A 500ml bottle of Chartreuse usually costs me between £25 - £30. I always think that seems expensive when i'm buying it, but then it seems to last a fair while (55% remember!) and so I don't think that's too bad a price really.
Even if you've never heard of it, it's surprising how many bars have it nowadays, so it's worth sampling a shot in a bar before splashing out on a bottle (inidentally, I think the bottle looks cool too).
When I first tried this 4 years ago, I pulled a funny face. Not because I disliked it but because I could'nt quite put my finger on what the flavour was. Four years on, I stll can't! Minty, perhaps? Yes, definitley a bit minty! I was'nt sure how to drink this product at first because it's not a very common drink like vodka or gin. So, I tried it over ice, yep, not bad. Tried in lemonade, not bad either but to be honest, not that good. Then I mixed it Tia Maria and added coke, this was more like it. Mixed it with Baileys, yummy in my tummy! By this time I was too drunk to try anymore, it's very strong stuff and will leave you praying to the porcelin god in no time! I had some friends over one night and one of them drank Chartreuse all the time, he suggested I try it hot chocolate! I thought he'd lost his marbles! A spirit in a hot drink? Stupid man! But one night, I was in by myself and had trouble getting to sleep, so I debated whether to have a hot drink to help me sleep or a stiff drink to knock me out. But I remembered what my friend said and tried it, it was yummy and it certainly helped me to sleep! I would recommend you buy this if you are willing to experiment a little, but definitley try he hot choc thing!
The original green Chartreuse once favoured by Oscar Wilde uses 130 different ingredients and is highly alcoholic at 55% abv. Made at the Chartreuse Carthusian Monastery near Grenoble in the French Alps for over 300 years, its production is now carried out at a distillery 25km away by the monks according to traditional principles