Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Tuesday Night Tastings - Chartreuse

by Fredo

Louis 649's Tuesday Night Tastings are a destination for mixologists, cocktail bloggers, spirits novices, and of course people who love free booze. Naturally, I was on the scene.

This past Tuesday, Todd Richman, Chartreuse's brand Ambassador teamed up with mixologist Eryn Reece and the Louis 649 crew to present the history of Chartreuse and then guide attendees to a tasting of the various types of the venerable 350 year old herbal liquor. Chartreuse is a French liqueur made by Carthusian monks from an centuries old recipe that is known only to three monks. No one monk knows the whole recipe, except Father Superior. The recipe is then passed on to the next generation of monks, again only three know any part of it at any one time.

Today, all Chartreuse liqueurs are made only in Voiron (France). However, the 130 herbs, plants and flowers from which Chartreuse is made are stored in the Monastery of "La Grande Chartreuse", 25 kilometres away. There, they are crushed, blended, whatever the secret recipe requires - and are eventually taken to the Voiron distillery where only the two monks are allowed to macerate and distill them, and finally oversee their ageing. - The History of Chartreuse

We tried Yellow, Yellow V.E.P(Vieillissement Exceptionnellement Prolongé), Green, Green V.E.P, and the Green 1605 (not available in the US.) Todd talked through each variation of Chartreuse and then held a Q& A. It is clear why so many bartenders at the nation's top cocktail bars are marrying Chartreuse with a variety of liquors including scotch, rye, gin, cachaca, and more. The depth of flavors that range from honey to clove to saffron compliment the main spirit without overwhelming it. Once the crowd was educated and enlightened from tastings, Todd and Eryn served up a classic cocktail that uses Chartreuse to prove their point:

The Last Word
3/4 oz Gin (Todd used Citadelle)
3/4 oz Maraschino
3/4 oz Green Chartreuse
3/4 oz Lime juice

Combine spirits and lime juice in boston shaker over ice. Shake rigorously for 10-15 seconds, strain into chilled coupe. no need for garnish but if you must, try a Luxardo maraschino cherry of lime wheel.

Don't miss Tuesday Night Tastings @:

Louis 649
649 East 9th St @Ave C

Tuesdays is more than just tasting liquors, it is an education!

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