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Chartreuse: From the Monastery, to Roosevelt Bar in Denver

The Secret Behind Chartreuse

Before Chartreuse reaches Roosevelt bar in Denver, it has traveled all the way from France, but to get a little insight into this ancient and mysterious green or yellow Chartreuse found in many bars across the world , we have to go back over 400 years to the Grande-Chartreuse Monastery in France.

Chartreuse Monastery

Chartreuse: Elixir of Life

For generations a secret set of instruction, written in 1606, have been passed on to the Chartreuse Monks by François Annibal d’Estrées. Before getting the name Chartreuse, François Annibal d’Estrées passed on his secret recipe and instructions for something he called “elixir of life”, to this day, only a very select few Carthusians have had the privilege of reading this ancient set of instructions. In fact, there are never more than two monks at a time who are allowed to read this sacred manuscript.

130 secret herbs and plants

Today, the secret of Chartreuse is held by Dom Benoît and Brother Jean-Jacques, they alone know the names of the 130 herbs and plants used to make Chartreuse. All we know, sf that approximately 18 tons of these herbs and plant are delivered to the Grande-Cahrtreuse Monastery each year. Here the two monks will dry, crush and mix the concoction into different series. Each series is carefully labelled before heading off to the distillery in Voiron.

Chartreuse Distillery

The Chartreuse distillery

Once the bags arrive at the Voiron distillery, the two monks, and two laymen helpers, are the only people allowed to enter where the mixes of plants and herbs has begun to macerate in alcohol, and will later be distilled for about 8 hours in stainless-steel stills that are especially designed for Chartreuse. After carefully monitoring the distillation process, heating and cooling, the green color that we associate with Chartreuse begins to take form. To get a yellow Chartreuse, the distillation process is simply cut short, leaving the liquor with a yellow color and a milder flavor to the otherwise sweet and pungent spirit.

Aging Chartreuse in a cellar

Aging the Chartreuse

After the distillation process and a final control check by our two monks, the liquor is transferred into Oak barrels and placed in what is the largest liqueur cellar in the world. Here it begins the long slow process of aging. It will remain in the oak casks for several years before being tested by the two monks. Only the two keepers of the secret recipe have the power to decide the fate of this mystic elixir.

Shot of Chartreuse

Get your Chartreuse at Roosevelt

Once approved, it is bottled and shipped all across the globe. And that’s how Chartreuse comes to Roosevelt. Located in the hopping LoDo district of Denver, we are your one stop destination for all your Chartreuse needs. Try this sweet and spicy liquor served ice cold or on the rocks, or one of our handcrafted quality American cocktails especially designed for Chartreuse. Vive Chartreuse, vive Roosevelt!