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Looking for a way to elevate your mixology game with a refreshing cocktail sure to help keep you cool? The Chartreuse Swizzle is a modern classic featuring the unique herbal flavor of Green Chartreuse in combination with pineapple juice, lime juice, and Falernum to add tropical notes and complexity. Can’t find a bottle of Green Chartreuse? Check out the notes section below for a some alternative options.
(Originally published 9/1/23)
1 ½ oz. Green Chartreuse
½ oz. Falernum
1 ½ oz. Pineapple juice
¾ oz. Lime juice
Pour ingredients into your chilled Hybrid Cocktail Glass 2/3rds full of crushed ice.
Swizzle with a swizzle stick (or churn with bar spoon).
Add more crushed ice to fill and swizzle some more.
Serve with a straw.
Green Chartreuse was created by the Carthusian monks in the 18th century at the Grande Chartreuse monastery in Voiron, France. The recipe for the liqueur is said to have been given to the monks by François Annibal d'Estrées, a marshal in the French army, in the early 1600s. The liqueur was initially intended for medicinal purposes, as it contains 130 botanical ingredients believed to have therapeutic properties. To this day, the recipe is known only to a handful of monks.
The Chartreuse Swizzle was Created in 2003 for a contest in San Francisco, CA (which he originally intended to sit out of) by Marcovaldo Dionysos. The cocktail is known for its vibrant green color, intense herbal flavors, and tropical fruitiness. It's a well-balanced cocktail with a complex taste profile, making it a favorite for those who enjoy herbal liqueurs and tiki-style drinks.
Chartreuse is magical stuff. I think this drink tastes enough of Chartreuse to satisfy die-hard fans of the spirit, but softens it enough to attract newbies. - Marcovaldo Dionysos
Can't get your hands on a bottle of Green Chartreuse? Elevated Craft Crew member, Peter Patrician, shared some of his thoughts on potential "substitutes" to be on the lookout for:
Brucato Amaro Chaparral (46%) - San Francisco, CA: Prominent ingredients are yerba santa, cardamom and spearmint. This has a similar herbal aroma to GC, slightly woody, reminiscent of some barks and roots. On the palate, it’s quite sweet, herbal, minty, some bitter orange in the background, finishing with warm spices, anise and mint. I also sense subtle fruity notes (curious what else is in here). This is a delicious amaro and I am impressed with the flavor. Compared to GC, it’s not the same fresh herbal flavor bomb. It’s also not green, which I believe is important if it’s meant to be a substitute; flavor being paramount.
Accompani Flora Green (40%) - Portland, OR: The aroma of this is very different from Chaparral—this is herbal yet clearly floral (the name is a clue). It reminds me of the Genepy le Chamois. According to the label this tastes like “Friday night palm readings, floating orbs, whispers in the garden, flower power.” That clears things up. Gotta love marketing. I know this has lemon balm, chamomile, and hyssop (which tastes like mint). It is an herbal liqueur, but not close to GC’s freshness, complexity and lingering finish. The finish is even quicker than Chaparral, with a similar subtle warm spice.
Génépy de Chamois (45%) - France: Compared to GC, this is much softer on the nose in its herbal quality, with a light flowery aroma. It feels fairly viscous on the tongue, with chamomile, mint, subtle citrus, and a tingly herbal finish. When I first had this I sensed something off-putting on the palate—possibly the floral quality—but more than a year later I don’t get that same experience. It’s delicious. It’s not nearly as bold as GC, but being 10% lower abv, I can’t say I’m surprised.
Faccia Brutto Centerbe (45%) - Brooklyn, NY: This is not floral like the Génépy; it’s more earthy and a bit woody and savory on the nose and palate. It’s softer than Génépy, too. Tarragon, lemon balm, thyme, mint are present in the taste. It finishes a bit dry compared to Génépy and GC. Of the three it’s the least sweet and viscous. My first impression tasting this a while back was that it was muted/thin/watered down compared to GC. It has a similar herbal bite late on the palate, but not as persistent. This is a Centerbe (meaning “one hundred herbs”) with 20 ingredients. If you believe GC does in fact have 130 ingredients, it’s not surprising this liqueur tastes less complex. The color appears watered down, and a bit cloudy. But let’s be honest, you cannot beat the color of GC!
Looking for even more Green Chartreuse substitution ideas? Check out these recommendations from Anders Erickson!