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Chartreuse

Pronunciation: [shar-TROOZ]

Originally made by the Carthusian monks in France's La Grande Chartreuse monastery, this aromatic liqueur comes in green and yellow varieties. (verte) Chartreuse gets its pale yellow-green color from chlorophyll and has a minty, spicy flavor that's more intense and aromatic than its golden counterpart. Yellow (jaune) Chartreuse is lower in alcohol, lighter in body, sweeter (from honey) and has a pale yellow color attributed by saffron. The term Chartreuse V.E.P. (Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé—"Exceptionally Prolonged Aging") describes limited lots of both green and yellow Chartreuse that have 12 years of oak-aging, a process that produces mellow, incredibly complex liqueurs with slightly lower alcohol levels.