7 Easy Chartreuse Substitutes for Cocktails

No Chartreuse? No problem! You can still have the last word with these easy Chartreuse substitutes.

Published August 2, 2023
Chartreuse bottle - Getty Editorial

If you're having a hard time finding a bottle of Chartreuse, or you're lucky enough to have a bottle sitting on your shelf, you might be scratching your head, wondering how to put it to use (the best problem to have) or what you can use as a Chartreuse substitute (easy problem to solve).

Green and Yellow Chartreuse Substitutes

Think you'll never be able to duplicate the herbal yet silky flavors of Green Chartreuse in your cocktail? Worry not! You'll be shaking and stirring in no time with these substitutes. Each of these substitutes is a 1:1 unless otherwise noted; if the recipe calls for one ounce, use one ounce of the substitute.

Jagermeister bottles - Getty Editorial

These may not be a perfect match to the singular Chartreuse, but you're not searching for a soul mate, you're looking for an apt cocktail partner.

  • Strega
  • Bénédictine
  • Sambuca
  • Dolin Génépy
  • Drambuie with 1 to 2 dashes of bitters
  • Fernet, although some may want to use less than the recipe calls for
  • Jägermeister, half of what the recipe calls for

Add a few splashes of bitters to balance out any substitutes that need a touch more root flavor. Of course, you can always swap in Yellow Chartreuse for Green Chartreuse. Now that you have your substitute ready, you can make up a naked and famous, a balanced last word, a terrifyingly tasty Beetlejuice, or put a twist on your usual bee's knees.

What Is Chartreuse?

Chartreuse, specifically Green Chartreuse, as we know it, has been around since 1840, although the original recipe dates back to the very early 1600s. Both the green and yellow hues happen all without any added color from the monks.

Yes, monks are the ones responsible for distilling Chartreuse. The Chartreuse owes its herbaceous and earthy flavors to over 100 plants, bark, roots, and spices that create this spirit. And just two monks know the entire recipe and process from start to finish.

The process takes monks several weeks to craft, from distillation, to maceration, to aging. Only once the spirit reaches oak casks and ages for quite some time do the monks finally bottle the Chartreuse.

What Does Chartreuse Taste Like?

Green Chartreuse has a bold, earthy, savory, herbaceous taste. There's a touch of bite from peppery notes, with citrus, mint, licorice, and herbs smoothing all of it over, with just a hint of bitter tea at the end. Yellow Chartreuse is a milder sibling of its green big brother, and sweeter to boot, with more subtle herbaceous flavors that make it more approachable.

The best way to enjoy the flavors of Green or Yellow Chartreuse? Chilled. Never room temperature.

Chartreuse Dreams

No more will a global shortage of herbaceous liquor stop you from living your greenest (or most golden) cocktail life. Looks like you'll get the last word when it comes to those Green Chartreuse solutions. And you don't even need to be naked and famous to do it!

7 Easy Chartreuse Substitutes for Cocktails