Chartreuse is one of those liqueurs that that you might see 100 times at fancy bars, but you never see anybody drinking it, and you probably wouldn't have the first clue what to do if you had a bottle.
Here's the thing: Chartreuse is delicious, though the intense bitter, herbal drink can be a bit of a love it or hate it thing. If you love Negronis and drinks with a similar sweet-bitter flavor profile, then you should absolutely give Chartreuse a try.
Note: Chartreuse has two varieties -- green and yellow. Like Benedictine, the exact recipes are top secret (seriously!), but the green stuff is brighter and spicier, with sharper botanical flavors, while the yellow version is a little easier and more mellow, and it tastes of saffron and honey.
Now that you are a Chartreuse expert, it's time to get mixing!
This perfectly balanced drink is the quintessential Chartreuse cocktail, so start here if you are new to it. P.S. If you're headed to a moderately fancy, well-stocked bar, this is a good one to order, although you should still memorize the ingredients, just in case.
Sweet, honey-flavored Yellow Chartreuse goes stupendously well with the subtle fruit tones and rye spice of Benedictine
If you love the thick, sweet herbaceousness of Chartreuse, you'll fall head-over-heals in love with this 1900-era drink. Complete with equal parts dry gin, sweet vermouth and Green Chartreuse, it's topped with a dash of orange bitters to bring it all home.
This is an old school drink, so there are a few variations, some which involve sugar, while others use seltzer. Do what you want, but in my opinion this drink tastes best as a lowball without too many bells or whistles -- just a harmonious blend of deep, ever-so-fruity brandy, thick, sweet Yellow Chartreuse and a squeeze of bright lemon to cut through it all.
Moscow Mules are fantastic! Add a splash of Yellow Chartreuse to give it an extra pop of honey-toned complexity. P.S. Feel free to make this the traditional way, with ginger beer instead of syrup and club soda, but keep the lemon juice -- it's perfect with the Yellow Chartreuse.
Sweet, spicy and fresh, this green tequila, jalapeno and cilantro cocktail gets an earthy flourish with a paprika salt rim to highlight the woody flavors of Green Chartreuse, while a hefty dose of pineapple juice ensures that it goes down easy.
Well hello there, fancy cocktail. This rye and Green Chartreuse blend is absolutely fabulous with a dash of lemon bitters and a hint of Absinthe to make your night a little more wild. Cheers!
Featured Photo Credit: Don LaVange/Flickr