The Monastery of "La Grande Chartreuse" is the Mother House,
the Headquarters, of the Carthusian Order. This is where, after years of study, Elixir Végétal - from the manuscript " Elixir
of long life" is finally, produced in 1737. The Elixir is followed by the production of Green Chartreuse in 1764. Le Grand Chartreuse proves that word of
mouth is a very successful way of marketing.
The Carthusians monks that manufacture the Chartreuse liqueur do not speak themselves.
They live an ascetic life dedicated to prayer and contemplation in their Charterhouses. Le Grand Chartreuse is located in
the French Alps in Voiron, near Grenoble. The monastery of La Grande Chartreuse has been destroyed by fire and rebuilt 11 times since 1084, the last time in
1676. Then during the French Revolution the monks were forced to leave the country. The Carthusian distillery was nationalized
in 1903 and not returned to the monks until 1930.
Only two Chartreuse monks know the identity of the 130 plants, how to blend them and how to distill them
into this world famous liqueur. They are also the only ones who know which plants they have to macerate to produce the natural
green and yellow colors. And they alone supervise the slow ageing in oak casks. The Green Chartreuse is the only liqueur
in the world with a completely natural green color; while the Yellow Chartreuse is milder and sweeter than the
famous Green Chartreuse.
The sale of the Chartreuse liqueur helps to support Le Grand Chartreuse and the order’s other monasteries around
the world. The liqueur is made from 130 herbs and plants. Green Chartreuse, which was first sold in 1764. Yellow Chartreuse was known as "The Queen of Liqueurs" and "The World's Greatest Liqueur"
in the late 19th century. The monks got
hold of the recipe, originally a health potion, in 1605 but it was so complex they didn't master it for another century. The
two monks at La Grande Chartreuse who are each privy to part of the liqueur's formula no longer need to spend their days at
Voiron distilling. Use of today’s computer technology allows the pair to oversee the process remotely via television
monitors in their cells. This allows the monks more time to follow their vocation, which is prayer and contemplation.