The monastic miracle of Chartreuse


This intensely-flavoured green herbal liqueur has been distilled in the French mountains near Grenoble by the monks of Grande Chartreuse monastery, based on an alchemical recipe for an "elixir of long life" going back to 1605.

As a drink it's delicious on its own, makes a rich and warming addition to hot chocolate, and is well-known as an ingredient in the Last Word cocktail. Mowgli Street Food use it in one of their house cocktails, too.

It was while investigating the origins of Chartreuse that Roy Andries de Groot came upon the country inn which inspired his classic cookbook,
The Auberge of the Flowering Heath. That book contains several recipes making use of chartreuse's unique flavour, and it is not along. If you have a bottle lurking at the back of your liquor cabinet, or if you are inspired to get one, here are some recipes to try. PS Just to confuse matters, historically chartreuse is also the name for a lined, moulded dish of some kind (sweet or savoury).