Chartreuse Verte, also known as Chartreuse Green, has been around for centuries and has a vibrant green color. It can be enjoyed on its own, mixed with cocktails, or used as a cooking ingredient. Can you substitute it with something else if you don’t have it at home or it’s too expensive? You can absolutely substitute it with anything else!
So what are the best Green Chartreuse substitutes? You’ll want something smooth, herbal, and boozy to replace Green Chartreuse. The best alternatives include Dolin Génépy, White Sambuca, Strega, Bénédictine, Drambuie, Jagermeister, and Angostura Bitters. Learn more about the best substitutes for Green Chartreuse and how they compare in taste and alcohol content!
What Is Green Chartreuse?
As a herbal liqueur, Chartreuse was originally created by monks of the Chartreuse Order in the French Alps. The recipe for making Chartreuse was perfected in 1764 after centuries of development. Chartreuse is one of the oldest spirits available and has a naturally vibrant color. It was created to serve as a medicine and elixir of long life from a secret mixture of 130 herbs and plants. Since the late 1890s, it has been a staple in many bars and is used to make a variety of cocktails.
There are three types of Chartreuse available in the market:
At 55% alcohol by volume (ABV, 110 proof), green Chartreuse is the original formula and most commonly available. There are hints of cinnamon, citrus, clove, thyme, and rosemary in this wine, which are intensified by the high alcohol percentage.
Green Chartreuse is a delightful drink that can be enjoyed straight, chilled, or on the rocks. It can also be used in a variety of cocktails – it is surprisingly versatile! Mixologists prefer it over mint and melon liqueurs when making green cocktails, but it can also be enjoyed with rum, gin, and brandy.
Best Green Chartreuse Substitutes
Due to its distinctive flavor profile, Green Chartreuse cannot be replicated exactly by any other liqueur. The flavors you are looking for can be found in similar liqueurs, however. In addition to its well-kept recipe, Green Chartreuse uses 130 different plants and herbs and is priced between $50 and $80 per bottle. In addition to its spicy, herbal, and smooth flavor, Green Chartreuse is moderately boozy – you can taste the alcohol along with the herbs.
You should avoid substituting something overly sweet and syrupy for Green Chartreuse, as well as finding something with the same vibrant color and appearance. Listed below are some of the best substitutes for Green Chartreuse!
1. Dolin Génépy
The closest to Green Chartreuse when it comes to flavor is Dolin Génépy, another amazing liqueur crafted in the French Alps. While its light olive color resembles Yellow Chartreuse, its complex flavor profile (which includes minty, sweet, citrusy, and herbaceous flavors) resembles Green Chartreuse.
45% ABV, Dolin Génépy is less sweet than Green Chartreuse and lacks the licorice and anise overtones, but can be a great cocktail substitute. Dolin Génépy makes a great substitute for cocktails such as Last Words: a cocktail made with Green Chartreuse, gin, and Maraschino liqueur.
2. White Sambuca
As with Chartreuse, Sambuca is an Italian anise-flavored liqueur that comes in different varieties: white, black, and red. It is best to substitute White Sambuca for Green Chartreuse due to its similar flavor profile. Black and Red Sambuca lack the herbaceous notes of Green Chartreuse and cannot be substituted for it.A hint of its fruity flavor is conveyed by the name Sambuca, which stems from the Latin word sambucus.
There are some tasters who detect elderberry notes in Green Chartreuse as well, so White Sambuca also performs well in that regard. As with Green Chartreuse, White Sambuca has a strong anise flavor balanced with notes of pineapple, mint, coconut, and figs. White Sambuca has a minimum alcohol content of 38%, and is regarded as smoother than harsh drinks – it tastes great in cocktails like Lumiere and Dreamcatcher.
An Italian word meaning “witch,” Strega is a strong herbal liqueur that works well as a substitute for Green Chartreuse. Strega has more of a medicinal aroma than Green Chartreuse. The “witches’ liqueur” has saffron, juniper, and mint flavors. Often compared to Yellow Chartreuse, its taste complexities are more closely related to Green Chartreuse, making it a suitable substitute.
In addition to its sweetness and spice, Strega carries a 40% alcohol content – it is less alpine and much sweeter than Chartreuse.
Developed by a wine merchant in the 19th century, Bénédictine is a spicy French liqueur that can replace Green Chartreuse. A total of 27 herbs and spices are used in it, compared to 130 in Green Chartreuse. There are a number of flavorings used in Benedictine, including angelica, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, mace, juniper, fir, aloe, vanilla, cloves, tea, thyme, coriander, lemons, lemon balm, and red berries.
Bénédictine has an impressive flavor line-up with a blend of spices, making it a good substitute for Green Chartreuse. The flavor is rich and spicy, but lacks some of the herbal notes in Green Chartreuse. It is also not as medicinal-tasting and adds an extra sweetness to cocktails it is used in. In addition to Last Word, Bénédictine is another cocktail that uses Green Chartreuse, another spirit that has 40% ABV.
Due to its similar sweetness and green color, Drambuie weighs in at 40% ABV and is flavored with scotch, honey, herbs, and spices. With a woodier and sweeter flavor than Green Chartreuse, Drambuie is an excellent mixer as well as for cooking. Desserts benefit from its sweet flavor, as it enhances their flavor and aroma.
When substituting Green Chartreuse for savory dishes, be mindful of sweetness levels and adjust the amount accordingly. Besides being enjoyed straight, mixed with ginger beer, on the rocks, or mixed into coffee, Drambuie also pairs well with brandy, whiskey, and tequila.
A German digestif with herbal and spicy flavors, Jagermeister is one of the world’s most popular drinks. Featuring 56 herbs and spices such as clove, anise, ginger, and cinnamon, it boasts a complex flavor with sweet and citrusy notes, along with a slight floral scent similar to Green Chartreuse.
Over the years, Jagermeister has been associated with partying, but traditionally it has been used for digestion after dinner.The 35% ABV of Jagermeister makes it perfect for drinking alone, adding to cocktails, and cooking. It can be used to prepare grilled meat, including Jagermeister steaks.
7. Angostura Bitters
Green Chartreuse can also be substituted with Angostura Bitters, a spicy, aromatic blend of herbs including cloves and cinnamon. This highly concentrated spirit has about 45% alcohol by volume and is commonly used to flavor beverages and cocktails, especially whiskey cocktails. Angostura Bitters may not work in recipes where Green Chartreuse’s flavor is understated, but its bitter note contributes to its medicinal properties.
It is very difficult to find substitutes that look and taste exactly like Green Chartreuse, since it is a unique liqueur with a complex flavor. If you can’t find this delicious green liqueur, there are several very close contenders that you can use in its place. There are many similarities between Green Chartreuse and Dolin Génépy, being also of French origin. Among the other options are White Sambuca, Strega, Bénédictine, Drambuie, Jagerme, etc.