Chartreuse, which today is produced by Carthusian monks in Voiron, France, used to be made at their distillery in Tarragona until 1989.
The liqueur was created in 1605 when the monks were given an old manuscript containing the formula of an “elixir for long life”. It is produced in two colours: yellow, with an alcohol content of 40º, and green, with 55º.
The year was 1903. This was when the city of Tarragona’s association with the Carthusians of Chartreuse first started, marking the beginning of a story that would continue to evolve and entwine the two until 1989, when the fourth distillery in the history of Chartreuse Diffusion would finally close.
Those years served to even further strengthen the bond that unites us, as you will not only find Chartreuse in numerous Tarragonan homes but also in many local bars and restaurants, perhaps as a cocktail or as a digestif, where it is also evident that Chartreuse has crossed the boundary into the realm of gastronomy and become an ingredient in both sweet and savoury dishes.
An indisputable thread in this love story between the people of Tarragona and Chartreuse is that it has become the quintessential drink of the festival of Santa Tecla, “la Mamadeta”: lemon slushy, yellow Chartreuse and green Chartreuse.