Chartreuse is one of many alcohol based cordials that were developed as medicinal cordials in the Middle Ages.Another similiar alcoholic cordial is Benedictine (made in the Benedictine Abbey).
While it may seem odd that monastries were home to the development of alcoholic beverages, it must be remembered that hospices or hospitals developed here one of the sacred duties of the monks being the care of the sick.
At a time that there was no refrigeration,there was no better means of extracting and preserving the medicinal qualities of plants and flowers than in alcohol, which also it has been subsequently found acts as both a vasodilator and a mood enhancer.
Since the Chartreuse Abbey is situated in France, the natural base used is a grape brandy into which a secret amalgam of 130 herbs is infused or macerated. This recipe is a closely guarded secret held by only two men at a time.
Chartreuse is available in 2 colours and flavours, yellow and green.