Chartreuse Bitters


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Introduction to the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

Welcome to the world of the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail, a drink that tantalizes the senses with its herbal complexity and aromatic allure. This cocktail is not just a beverage; it’s an experience, steeped in history and bursting with flavor. Whether you’re a seasoned mixologist or a curious connoisseur, the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail is sure to impress.

At its core, this cocktail features the unmistakable Green Chartreuse, a French liqueur made by Carthusian monks since the 1740s. Its recipe is a closely guarded secret, known to only a few monks, making it one of the most intriguing spirits in the world. When paired with the spicy depth of Angostura Bitters, the result is a drink that’s both refreshing and warming, perfect for any occasion.

Whether you’re winding down after a long day or looking to impress guests with your mixology skills, the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail is a choice that speaks of sophistication. Let’s dive into the details that make this drink a timeless classic.

Key Facts About the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

  • Alcohol Volume: Approximately 40% ABV (80 proof)
  • Calories: Approximately 200 kcal
  • Glass Type: Chilled coupe glass
  • Garnish: Lemon twist

Interesting Facts about the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

Herbal Heritage: The Green Chartreuse used in this cocktail is made with a blend of 130 herbs, plants, and flowers, each contributing to its vibrant color and complex flavor profile.

A Dash of History: Angostura Bitters were first created as a medicinal tonic in the 1820s, but quickly became a staple in the bartender’s arsenal for its ability to balance and enhance cocktails.

Digestif Delight: Traditionally enjoyed after a meal, the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail aids in digestion, thanks to its herbal properties.

Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail Preparation

Tasting Notes on the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

The Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail is a symphony of flavors, with each sip revealing new notes to the palate. The initial herbal sweetness of Green Chartreuse is perfectly balanced by the subtle spiciness of the bitters, creating a harmonious blend that is both bold and nuanced.

This cocktail is ideal for those who appreciate a drink with depth and character. It’s a perfect choice for a quiet evening at home or as a sophisticated offering at a dinner party. The Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail is versatile, fitting seamlessly into a cozy winter night or as a refreshing summer sipper.

Its complexity makes it a favorite among craft cocktail enthusiasts and those looking to explore the rich tapestry of classic mixology. Whether you’re a fan of herbal liqueurs or simply seeking a drink that stands out from the crowd, this cocktail is sure to deliver.

History of the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

The Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail is a drink with a storied past, rooted in the ancient traditions of monastic herbal medicine and the early days of cocktail culture. Green Chartreuse, the star ingredient, has been produced by the Carthusian monks in France since the 18th century, with a recipe that remains a secret to this day.

The addition of Angostura Bitters to the cocktail can be traced back to the 19th century when bitters were commonly used for their medicinal qualities. Over time, bitters found their way into the world of bartending, where they became essential for adding complexity to cocktails.

The exact origins of the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail are not well-documented, which adds to its mystique. It is likely a product of the craft cocktail movement, where bartenders experiment with classic ingredients to create new and exciting drinks. This cocktail is a testament to the timeless appeal of its components and the creativity of those who mix them.

Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail Ingredients

  • Green Chartreuse (2 oz / 60 ml): A vibrant, herbal liqueur that provides the backbone of the cocktail’s flavor.
  • Angostura Bitters (1 dash / 0.1 oz / 3 ml): Adds a layer of complexity with its blend of herbs, spices, and botanicals.
  • Ice Cubes: Essential for chilling the drink to the perfect temperature.
  • Lemon Twist: A citrus garnish that adds a bright note to the cocktail’s aroma and taste.

Did you know?

The name “Chartreuse” has become synonymous with its unique color, which is derived naturally from the herbs and plants used in its production.

Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail Ingredients

Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail Method

Chilling the Drink

Begin by filling a mixing glass with ice cubes to ensure the cocktail is served at an optimal chilled temperature.

Mixing the Ingredients

Pour the Green Chartreuse over the ice, followed by a dash of Angostura Bitters. The precise amount of bitters can be adjusted to taste, but traditionally, a single dash is sufficient.

Stirring the Cocktail

Using a bar spoon, stir the mixture gently. This method cools the drink without diluting it too quickly, preserving the full flavor of the ingredients.

Straining and Serving

Once well-chilled, strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass. This step ensures a smooth, ice-free drinking experience.


Complete the cocktail with a lemon twist garnish. The oils from the lemon peel enhance the drink’s aroma and add a subtle citrus zing.

Immediate Enjoyment

Serve the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail immediately to savor the crisp, chilled flavors at their peak.

Serving Suggestion for the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

The choice of glassware is crucial for the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail. A chilled coupe glass is preferred for its elegant shape, which allows the aromas to concentrate and enhances the overall tasting experience.

The garnish plays more than just a decorative role. A lemon twist, carefully prepared by cutting a strip of peel and expressing the oils over the drink, adds a fresh, citrusy aroma that complements the herbal notes of the Chartreuse.

Elevating the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

  • Quality Ice: Use large, clear ice cubes to slow down dilution and maintain the integrity of the drink’s flavors.
  • Temperature Control: Chill the coupe glass prior to serving to keep the cocktail cold from the first sip to the last.
  • Stirring Technique: Master the art of stirring to achieve the perfect dilution and temperature without compromising the cocktail’s texture.

For those looking to truly elevate their Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail, consider experimenting with different types of bitters. While Angostura is the classic choice, orange bitters or even homemade bitters can add a unique twist to the drink.

Another tip for the adventurous mixologist is to play with the garnish. While a lemon twist is traditional, an orange twist or even a sprig of fresh thyme can add an unexpected element to the cocktail’s presentation and flavor profile.

Elevated Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

Substitutions and Alternatives for the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

If Green Chartreuse is not available, consider using Yellow Chartreuse for a milder, sweeter alternative. While the flavor profile will differ, it still provides a delightful herbal base for the cocktail.

For those who do not have Angostura Bitters on hand, other aromatic bitters can be used as a substitute. Each type of bitters will bring its own unique flavor, allowing for personalization of the drink.

Similar cocktails that share the herbal and aromatic qualities of the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail include the Last Word and the Bijou. Both feature Green Chartreuse and offer a similar complexity and depth.

Add a Twist to the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

For a modern take on the classic, try adding a splash of soda water to the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail for a lighter, effervescent version. This variation is particularly refreshing during the warmer months.

Another twist is to incorporate a different citrus garnish, such as grapefruit or lime. The varying levels of acidity and sweetness can highlight different aspects of the Green Chartreuse.

For a smoky twist, a mezcal rinse of the glass before pouring the cocktail can add a layer of complexity that pairs beautifully with the herbal notes of the Chartreuse.

Preferred Liquors for the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

When it comes to the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail, using the original Green Chartreuse is key for authenticity. This herbal liqueur’s unique flavor cannot be replicated by any other brand.

As for the bitters, Angostura Bitters are the traditional choice and widely regarded as a staple in any mixologist’s collection. Their consistent quality and flavor profile make them the preferred option for this cocktail.

However, for those looking to explore, artisanal bitters made by small-batch producers can offer a unique twist and personal touch to the drink.

Similar Cocktails to the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

If you enjoy the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail, you might also like the Greenpoint, which combines rye whiskey with Green Chartreuse for a Manhattan-esque experience.

The Tipperary is another cocktail that features Green Chartreuse, pairing it with Irish whiskey and sweet vermouth for a rich, herbal drink.

For a lighter option, the Champs-Élysées cocktail blends Green Chartreuse with brandy and lemon juice, offering a citrus-forward alternative with the same herbal undertones.

Food Pairings to Go with the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

Classic pairings with the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail include rich, savory dishes like steak or roasted vegetables, which complement the herbal notes of the Green Chartreuse.

For a more adventurous pairing, try spicy Asian cuisine, such as Thai or Szechuan dishes. The heat from the spices contrasts beautifully with the cooling herbal flavors of the cocktail.

On the lighter side, a cheese platter featuring bold, aged cheeses can provide a delightful balance to the cocktail’s complexity.

Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail FAQs

Can I make the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail without Green Chartreuse? While Green Chartreuse is essential for the classic cocktail, Yellow Chartreuse can be used as a substitute for a different flavor profile.

Is the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail suitable for beginners? Yes, its simple preparation makes it accessible for those new to mixology, while its depth of flavor will satisfy experienced cocktail enthusiasts.

How can I adjust the cocktail to my taste? Experiment with the amount of bitters or try different garnishes to find the perfect balance for your palate.

What is the best time to enjoy the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail? It is traditionally enjoyed as a digestif, but its versatility makes it suitable for any occasion.

Can I batch prepare the Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail for parties? Yes, you can mix a larger quantity in advance, but add the bitters and garnish just before serving to maintain the best flavor.

Chartreuse Bitters_001

Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail

The Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail is a sophisticated and aromatic drink that combines the unique herbal flavors of Chartreuse with the complexity of bitters. This cocktail is perfect for those who appreciate a drink with depth and history.
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Course Cocktail
Cuisine International
Servings 1 cocktail
Calories 200 kcal


  • Mixing glass
  • Bar spoon
  • Strainer
  • Coupe glass


  • 2 oz Green Chartreuse 60 ml
  • 1 dash Angostura Bitters 0.1 oz / 3 ml
  • Ice cubes
  • Lemon twist for garnish


  • Fill a mixing glass with ice cubes.
  • Pour the Green Chartreuse over the ice.
  • Add a dash of Angostura Bitters.
  • Stir the mixture gently until well chilled.
  • Strain the cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.
  • Garnish with a lemon twist.
  • Serve immediately.


The Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail is best enjoyed as a digestif after a meal due to its herbal properties. Adjust the amount of bitters to taste, but traditionally only a dash is used to complement the Chartreuse.
Keyword Angostura Bitters, Aromatic Cocktail, bitters, Chartreuse, Chartreuse Bitters Cocktail, Classic Cocktails, craft cocktail, Green Chartreuse, Herbal Liqueur, mixology

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