Chartreuse is a French liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks since 1737 according to the instructions set out in a secret manuscript, a gift to them from Maréchal Francois Hannibal d'Estrées in 1605. An already ancient manuscript from an 'Elixir of Long Life', the manuscript was probably the work of a 16th century alchemist with a great knowledge of herbs and with the skill to blend, infuse, macerate the 130 of them to form a perfect balanced tonic. The manuscript's recipe was so complex that only bits and pieces of it were understood and used at the monastery in Vauvert.
To this day all Chartreuse liqueurs are made only by monks and are based on that ancient manuscript given in 1605. The sales of the liqueurs allow the Chartreuse Monks the funds necessary to survive in this commercial world and give to them the ability to dedicate their lives to prayer and meditation.
Chartreuse gives its name to the colour chartreuse. It is one of the handful of liquors that continues to age and improve in the bottle.