Sunday, June 9, 2013

Another Treasure from France - Elixir Vegetal de la Grande Chartreuse

Elixir Vegetal de la Grande Chartreuse 

This is another "treasure" I bought in France, which cannot be bought in the US - Elixir Vegetal de la Grande Chartreuse.

This is 142 proof liqueur that comes in a 100 ml litter bottle encased in a wooden container, made by the Carthusian monks in France. The Elixir is considered medicinal, which is why it's not allowed in the US; it doesn't meet USDA standards. There's another reason given as to why it's not allowed in the US, and that's because the recipe is secret and the monks reportedly don't want the recipe stolen.

I love the history of this liquor.

In 1606, an artillery marshal to King Henry IV gave the Carthusian monks the recipe of this Elixir of Long Life. The formula includes 130 herbs, flowers, and secret ingredients combined in a wine alcohol base. The monks made the liqueur as medicine. Two liqueurs spun off this original recipe; the Green Chartreuse and the Yellow Chartreuse, but the original recipe remains as the Elixir Vegetal.

The recipe is reportedly not written down, and three monks know portions of the formula; they must work together to create the liqueur.

The traditional way of taking the Elixir is to use a dropper and put a few drops on a sugar cube. This is given to people who are sick, including babies.  I bought a few bottles in Paris for almost 14 euro each; but in Lyon it was less than 10 euro each.  The cashier in Lyon said her grandmother takes the Elixir daily.

I failed to ask how old her grandmother is.;article;40;uk.html

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