Visitors welcome throughout the year
10 bd Edgar-Kofler,
Chartreuse’s recipe is far more closely guarded than the Coca Cola formula – not surprisingly, when you consider it originated as an elixir of life (or at least youth). In the 16th century many alchemists were engaged in the search for an elixir – and in 1605 Marshall d’Estrees, a friend of King Henry IV of France, gave a recipe to the Carthusian monks. The manuscript was hand-written and signed by Estrees, so it is assumed he was the original creator of the Elixir, a fact apparently supported by his living to the age of 97. But the recipe lay untouched in a monastery near Paris for 132 years before it was eventually taken to the Monastery of Grand Chartreuse where Brother Jerôme Maubec, a master apothecary, worked to perfect the elixir.
The monks may be shy and retiring to say the least and their monastery is closed to all apart from a very few devout souls, but they do have a distillery shop (do you know of a church without a donation box?). We also recommend you visit the Musée de la Grande Chartreuse at La Correrie, 38380 Saint Pierre de Chartreuse. This is open 31st March to 7th November. Telephone +33 (0)4 76 886 045.