Elixir Végétal de la Grande Chartreuse
Made by the Carthusian Fathers since 1737 according to the instructions of the Manuscript given to them by the Maréchal d'Estrées in 1605, the Elixir Végétal contains 130 medicinal and aromatic plants. It is a very effective digestive and tonic.
Presentation of the Chartreuse elixir: in a 10 clbottle protected from light by a wooden case, which ensures perfect conservation.
Use of the Chartreuse elixir: a few drops on a lump of sugar, in a little sweetened water, as an infusion or in a grog.
All these Chartreuse liqueurs, based on a recipe from a 16th or 17th century grimoire, were developed by the Carthusian Fathers; their commercialisation allows their Community to survive and to continue to pray in silence and solitude, according to the inspiration of Saint Bruno.
History of the Chartreuse elixir:
In 1605, the Maréchal d'Estrées gave the monks of the Chartreuse de Vauvert, in Paris, a Manuscript revealing the formula for an Elixir of Long Life, the origin of which was unknown
At that time, only monks and apothecaries had the knowledge necessary to work with plants.
In 1611, Cardinal de Richelieu warmly thanked the Reverend Father of the Charterhouse of Paris, who had sent him a bezoar that had relieved him of an "unfortunate illness".(bezoar: stone found in the digestive tract of certain animals, to which medicinal virtues were attributed).
Too complex, the Elixir recipe seems to have been only partially used for several decades in Paris.
In 1737, the Grande-Chartreuse Monastery ( near the city of Grenoble ) decided to make an exhaustive study of it.
The apothecary of the Grande-Chartreuse, Brother Jérôme Maubec, was given the task. He succeeded in definitively establishing the formula of the Grande-ChartreusePlant Elixir.
Its marketing was very limited at the time: it was Brother Charles who, on the back of a mule, sold it on the markets of Grenoble and Chambéry.
Still made according to the same instructions, this "Elixir de longue vie" is known today as "Elixir Végétal de la Grande-Chartreuse". It is 69°.
Green Chartreuse, 54°, known as "Liqueur de Santé", was developed in 1764. Its success was immediate, but limited to the Dauphiné region.
The French Revolution of 1789 dispersed the monks. In 1793, as a precautionary measure, a copy of the precious manuscript was made and kept by the only monk authorised to remain in the monastery, another priest who always carried the original.
Arrested and then sent to Bordeaux, the latter found a way to pass the document out of his cell to another monk who had taken refuge near the monastery.
Not being able to use the secret and thinking that the Carthusian Order would never be re-established, he gave a copy to a pharmacist in Grenoble, Mr LIOTARD.
In 1810, the Emperor Napoleon I decided that the "secret remedies" mustbe submitted to the Minister of the Interior to be examined in order to be exploited by the State, Monsieur LIOTARD sent the manuscript to the Ministry; it was returned to him with the mention "Refused".
On the death of Mr Liotard, the documents were returned to the Grande-Chartreuse Monastery, which the monks had returned to in 1816.
In 1838, the formula was adapted to produce a sweeter and less alcoholic liqueur, the Chartreuse Jaune, 40°.
In 1903, the Carthusian monks were expelled from France. They took their secret with them and set up a distillery in TARRAGONE in Spain to produce the liqueur. The liqueur was also produced in Marseille from 1921 until 1929, under the name of "Tarragona".
During this same period, the French State sold their brand to a group of liquorists who created the Compagnie Fermière de la Grande Chartreuse. This company, whose production had nothing to do with the real Chartreuse, ceased its activities in 1929.
The monks then regained the use of the name CHARTREUSE; they resumed distillation in France, in their old distillery at Fourvoirie, built in 1860, near the Grande Chartreuse Monastery.
These buildings were destroyed in 1935 by a landslide. The production was then transferred to VOIRON, where it is still carried out, after the selection of the plants carried out inside the Monastery itself.
Since 1970, the company CHARTREUSE DIFFUSION has been in charge of packaging, advertising and selling the products developed by two Carthusian monks.
Invested with this mission by their Order, they work in the greatest secrecy and are the only ones to know the details of the production. Today, as in the past, the formula remains a mystery that modern methods of investigation have not been able to uncover.
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The Domain Les Pères Chartreux
The Domain Les Pères Chartreux
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