Absinthe and Chartreuse
Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Old Topics Archived Thru Sep 2000:Absinthe and Chartreuse
Chartreuse is built on an angelica base flavor.
Absinthe is built on an anise base flavor. Except in Prague of course.
How far is Grenoble from Neuchatel as the crow flies?
French Alps, Swiss Alps. Eighteenth Century. Green herbal liqueurs containing A.Absinthium in appreciable quantities.
Seven or eight minor herbs in common. Similar alcohol degree.
The Chartreuse website calls Chartreuse the world's only 100% naturally colored liqueur (meaning of course chlorophyllic color.)
Let's see if it passes Ted's test for natural vs artificial color: two days worth of very natural UV from good old Sol.
Actually I quite like Chartreuse, perhaps even more so now that I know its kinship to Absinthe (like, elder brother.) Also I enjoy a Benedictine now and then and it is a lot easier to find in Bangkok bars.
I just took steps to obtain some Elixir Vegetal and a bottle each of Chatreuse Verte VEP, Chartreuse Verte 9th Centenary, and plain vanilla Chartreuse Verte. Note that the VEP in either 'color' is about $110 US for a liter.
I am rather dubious about the proposition (as stated on the official Chartreuse website) that three monks occasionally interrupt their solitary meditation and prayer and go make some Chartreuse. As their aging cellar alone is 164 meters long and lined with huge barrels on both sides...this is more like an industrial operation and less like three monks cooking. Maybe three monks supervising a small army of assistants. Onward Christian soldiers!
Also, the way the Carthusians tell the story, the French government didn't exactly invite them back from Spain (after nationalizing the abbey and distillery). The French government counterfeit-Chartreuse operation went bankrupt for lack of sales. The local community bought the defunct company and gave it back to the Peres.
Nowadays the French Government has declared the place a national historical site and therefore state property, but this time they 'allowed' the monks to hang around and yes, to steep and distill their liqueur...