Caves de la Chartreuse


Comprising a museum, cellars, bar/tasting room and gift shop, the Chartreuse Cellars lead visitors through centuries of liqueur history. The distillation of the emerald-green elixir by the Carthusian monks of Grande Chartreuse, traced back to a 1605 manuscript, survived the monks' post-Revolution expulsion from France and the 20th-century nationalisation of the distillery. The museum stops short of giving away the recipe, supposedly a top-secret melange of more than 130 herbs, but a tasting of the final products is included.

Tastings invite you to discern the difference between the floral, acacia honey notes of yellow Chartreuse and the herbal, mint-tinged (and more powerful) green version. Of course, there are bottles to buy from the gift shop (from €15.99) or you can sip a Chartreuse cocktail in the adjoining bar.

There are also tours of the fragrant Chartreuse cellars, where you’ll wander past gigantic oaken barrels and try a dab of the 69%-alcohol Elixir Végétal from which Chartreuse is blended. Tours in English are usually daily at noon (€15); reserve ahead on the website.

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