Sunday Photo – Chartreuse

Chartreuse – it’s not just a color. Liqueurs made by monks in France from over 130 herbs, it was, like many old liqueurs, originally made for its medicinal qualities. It also happens to be delicious. There are two general types – the green and the yellow. The green gets its color from spinach, while the yellow uses saffron. The green is also a bit higher in alcohol than the yellow, which as a result goes down a bit more smoothly than the green. What I never appreciated until recently, was how well Chartreuse ages. At Pouring Ribbons, the stellar new cocktail bar in NYC by Alchemy Consulting, featuring the work of superstar mixologists Toby Maloney, Troy Sidle and Joaquin Simó, Sidle, who many consider the world’s expert on Chartreuse, has amassed an amazing collection of aged Chartreuses. I tried one that was about 30 or so years old, notable for its importer, James Sussex, who lavished great care on the product. With age, the sweetness of the liqueur gets rounded out, enhancing the herbal characteristics of the liqueur. It’s great stuff!

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