Green Chartreuse is a sweet herbal liqueur used in some of the popular drinks like the Last Word and Corpse Reviver.
While it’s beloved for its complexity and flavor profile, this French liqueur is sometimes hard to find or too expensive.
That’s why we created this guide as an alternative way to get similar flavors from other ingredients!
Read on for our favorite (and surprisingly simple) substitutions!
What Is Green Chartreuse?
Green Chartreuse is a liqueur with a distinct herbal and sweet flavor, made from 130 different plants and herbs.
It derives its name from the fact that it’s been produced by the Carthusian monks since 1764 at La Grande Chartreuse Abbey in France.
The recipe remains secret to this day, though it’s rumored to include plants like wormwood, hyssop, peppermint, and juniper.
Green Chartreuse is known for its distinct flavor profiles: it’s sweet yet pungent with a hint of bitterness.
It has high levels of sugar and alcohol content (55% ABV or 110 proof), so it can be quite intense when drunk straight up.
The most popular way to enjoy it is as a digestif, either neat or on the rocks after dinner.
Green Chartreuse can also be used in cocktails and mixed drinks like martinis, gimlets, and Negronis.
It’s also a common ingredient in French cuisine for sauces and marinades.
Substitutes For Green Chartreuse
If you don’t have green Chartreuse or can’t find it in your local store, there are a few common options to substitute for green chartreuse.
Dolin Génépy is a spirit produced in the Savoie region of France, near Chambéry.
It is made from alpine herbs and plants, including Genepi, an Alpine plant known for its medicinal properties.
Dolin Génépy has been likened to green chartreuse due to its herbal flavor profile.
It is slightly floral with notes of anise, wormwood, and mint, making it a unique and complex spirit.
Dolin Génépy is also lower in alcohol when compared to green chartreuse, which can allow for more subtlety and nuance in cocktails.
Additionally, Dolin Génépy is a less expensive alternative to green chartreuse, making it an attractive option.
It can be enjoyed straight or in cocktails for a unique and flavorful experience.
White Sambuca is a sweet, anise-flavored Italian liqueur. It’s typically clear in color but sometimes has a hint of blue or purple in it.
It has the same sweetness and unique herbal notes as green Chartreuse that make this type of spirit so distinctive.
White Sambuca can also be used to make a variety of cocktails, including the popular “Italian Coffee” which is a layered shot of espresso and white Sambuca.
It can also be served neat or on the rocks.
White Sambuca has an intense flavor that comes from the combination of anise and elderberry, giving it a unique and complex sweetness.
It’s a great substitute for the herbal character of green Chartreuse, perfect for cocktails that require something special.
Bénédictine is an herbal liqueur that was originally created in the late 19th century by Alexandre Le Grand, a Benedictine monk from France.
It has a unique flavor profile and unusual color make it a popular choice for drinkers of all kinds.
The liqueur is made using 27 plants and spices, known as the “secret elixir”, with a brandy base.
The flavor is sweet, herbal and slightly floral, with notes of anise, peppermint, fennel, cinnamon and nutmeg.
The unique flavor profile of Bénédictine can be used to mimic the green chartreuse.
Although not an exact match in flavor, it can provide a similar herbal complexity to drinks that call for green chartreuse.
Additionally, Bénédictine’s distinct color gives drinks made with it a more eye-catching look.
Bénédictine can provide a unique twist to classic drinks like the Last Word and Aviation and many other creative cocktails.
Strega is an Italian liqueur made from a blend of herbs and spices, including saffron, iris root, mint, fennel and juniper.
It has a floral aroma with notes of citrus and sweet spice.
Compared to green chartreuse, Strega is less intense in flavor but still boasts a herbal complexity.
It is slightly sweeter and less bitter than green chartreuse, making it a great substitute for those looking for something a bit more approachable in flavor.
Its delicate sweetness also makes it ideal for cocktails with citrus or other fruit flavors.
Strega can brighten up classic cocktails like the Negroni and the Manhattan, as well as modern creations like a Spiced Pear Fizz or a Rooftop Garden.
Its versatile flavor makes it an ideal sub for green chartreuse in any recipe.
Jagermeister is a herbal liqueur produced in Germany. It is made from 56 herbs, fruits, roots and spices.
The specific recipe is a closely guarded secret; however, the main ingredients are said to include star anise, cardamom, cinnamon and ginger.
Jagermeister can be used as a substitute for green chartreuse because it has a similar sweet, herbal flavor.
It also has the same alcohol content as most green chartreuse liqueurs (generally 40-45 percent).
The main difference between the two is that Jagermeister’s flavor is more complex and concentrated than that of green chartreuse.
Additionally, Jagermeister has a slightly lower proof than green chartreuse, making it a bit sweeter and easier to drink.
Plus, Jagermeister is much more widely available in the United States than green chartreuse.
Drambuie is a whisky-based liqueur with an orange hue and herbal, floral flavor.
It was created in the early 20th century by mixing whisky with honey, herbs, and spices.
It is a sweet, mellow liqueur that can be enjoyed neat or as part of many classic cocktails.
Drambuie can be a good alternative to green chartreuse because it has many of the same herbal, and floral notes.
It also has a sweetness and smoothness that makes it very similar in taste to chartreuse.
Additionally, its color is more appealing than green chartreuse (which can be off-putting to some drinkers).
Lastly, Drambuie is much more accessible than green chartreuse, as it can be found in most liquor stores.
With its unique flavor and versatility, Drambuie is a great alternative to green chartreuse for those looking for something different.
Angostura Bitters is a type of alcoholic beverage that is made from herbs, spices, and aromatic extracts.
It has been used for centuries as an essential ingredient in cocktails and other drinks.
It adds a unique flavor to cocktails, and its distinct flavors can be easily discerned by the palate.
Angostura Bitters can be used as a substitute for green Chartreuse, due to its ability to add sweet and bitter flavor elements.
It is also known for its ability to balance out the flavors of other ingredients in drinks or cocktails, providing more depth and complexity.
In addition, Angostura Bitters are highly aromatic, with notes of citrus and spice that can add depth and complexity to a wide variety of cocktails.
Is Chartreuse Similar To Lime Green?
Chartreuse and lime green are bright shades of green, but they differ.
Chartreuse is a more distinct yellow-green color than lime green, which has a purer green hue.
Chartreuse also appears to be darker and less saturated than lime green.
Can You Use Green And Yellow Chartreuse Interchangeably?
No, green and yellow chartreuse are not interchangeable.
Green chartreuse is a liqueur made from 130 herbs with a sweeter flavor with notes of honey and spice.
Yellow chartreuse, on the other hand, is a stronger liqueur also made with herbs but has a much more intense and herbal flavor profile.
How Bitter Is Green Chartreuse?
Green Chartreuse is a strong and sweet liqueur with a distinct herbal flavor and an ABV of 55%.
The intense aroma is often described as savory, spicy, and slightly bitter.
The bitterness may be more noticeable in some batches than others, but it is not overly bitter overall.
Green Chartreuse is an iconic spirit used for centuries in various cocktails and other drinks.
However, due to its unique flavor profile and high alcohol content, it can be difficult to find substitutes.
The good news is several options to substitute for green chartreuse.
White Sambuca, Bénédictine, Strega, Jagermeister, Drambuie, and Angostura Bitters are all excellent alternatives to green Chartreuse.
Depending on what flavor profile you’re looking for in your cocktail or drink, one of these substitutes will surely do the trick!