Skip to main content

The Chartreuse shortage is real (and here to stay), but we’ve got some great substitutes

Green chartreuse is the latest victim of supply chain issues. Here's how to work around it

The supply chain continues to throw us curveballs, still wobbly from the pandemic. Over the last few years, we’ve had trouble sourcing everything from lumber and kids’ Tylenol, to Thanksgiving turkeys, to avocados and Champagne. Now, it’s Chartreuse’s turn.

The iconic green liqueur has been made for nearly three centuries, the work of monks living in a mountainous part of France. It’s been a favorite among bartenders for generations, as both a great way to add some color for a more vibrant drink and a way to add flavor that tastes herbaceous and fresh. Some 130 natural ingredients are added to this complex beverage, atop a wine alcohol base.

green chartreuse liqueur
Image used with permission by copyright holder

Some enjoy the stuff neat, while others prefer it in a classic cocktail like The Last Word or an Alaska. There’s yellow Chartreuse as well, a sibling liqueur made by the same monks, but it’s not quite as coveted. However you enjoy it, Chartreuse began, like so many famous spirits and liqueurs, flexing its medicinal qualities. The vibrant liquid was deemed to extend your lifespan in the early 17th Century. But before we dive too deep, let’s cover the lack of bottles.

Why is there a Chartreuse shortage?

Interestingly, the shortage is twofold. The least sexy reason is that there’s a bit of a glass shortage stemming from the pandemic. The cooler reason is that the monks who know the secret recipe don’t want to sell out. Yep, despite high demand for Chartreuse all over the world, the Carthusian community behind it has little interest in upping the supply. They’re happy just doing their thing high in the French Alps, like they have been for nearly 300 years. That’s a decidedly badass move, we must say.

As explained in this letter,  the Carthusian monks “are limiting production to focus on their primary goal: protect their monastic life and devote their time to solitude and prayer.”

The letter further explained: “In addition, the monks are not looking to grow the liquor beyond what they need to sustain their order. Making millions of cases does not make sense in today’s environmental context and will have a negative impact on the planet in the very short term.”

Swap Chartreuse out with something else

Because convincing a monk to change his mind is a tall task, it might be wise to find a substitute. Whether you’re looking for a great cocktail while out at the bar (check out the best bars in America while you’re at it) or mixing something up at home, there are options that can work well in place of green Chartreuse.

Arguably, the best option is Dolin Génépy. It’s also made in the French Alps and is a close relative of green Chartreuse. You get all those spring-like green flavors (sage, especially), and it has the layers that Chartreuse has.

Strega is another option, the Italian lesser-known liqueur that’s bright yellow and made from 70 herbs and spices.

Can’t find those? Try Drambuie or consult your local bottle shop or specialty liquor store. A lot of domestic producers are trying their hands at liqueurs made with natural herbs, plants, and more.

The green Chartreuse shortage is here, but we’re going to ride it out. It’s not the first supply chain drinks shortage, and it won’t be the last. With the above options, you’ll be able to get by almost like you did before. And if the monks do decide to make more, you may want to keep these options in mind, as Chartreuse has never been easy on the wallet.

Editors' Recommendations

Mark Stock
Mark Stock is a writer from Portland, Oregon. He fell into wine during the Recession and has been fixated on the stuff since…
Burnt ends are already the BBQ favorite for the summer (and we’ve got a killer recipe)
Level up your barbecue game with these incredibly delicious burnt ends
Burnt ends

Burnt ends are all the rage right now, and honestly, we can't believe this hasn't always been the case. What started out as a "family meal" (the meal served to the restaurant staff, typically made up of leftovers and scraps) has become one of the most coveted menu items at any barbecue joint worth its salt.
So how can you create these incredibly juicy, fatty, and flavorful little meat candies at home? All you need are a few ingredients and a smoker.

What are burnt ends?

Read more
Canned cocktails bank on childhood nostalgia (and we’re here for it)
Your childhood favorites now come with an adult upgrade
canned cocktails bank on nostalgia twisted tea rocket pop

The last few years have brought forth a flood of nostalgic treats. At the end of last year, we projected that nostalgic foods and old childhood snacks from the 90s would continue to permeate the market, and we were spot on. These treats are everywhere. It seems Millennials have aged into the higher-up, big decision-making positions, and we're reaping the benefits of their childhood nostalgia.

From Pizza Hut to Waffle Crisp, snack companies and restaurants alike have been cashing in on the radical desire for 80's and 90's throwbacks, and now even alcohol companies are jumping on the bandwagon with canned cocktails. Hard seltzers flavored with 90s goodness are everywhere, and we have to say - it's about time. Dunkaroos and Fruit Roll-Ups are all well and good, but vodka-infused Sunny-D?! (insert emotionally-charged slow clap here). Yes. Just...yes.

Read more
We’ve all been eating our Chinese takeout wrong
This sneaky little Chinese takeout secret has been hiding in plain sight for years
chinese takeout boxes designed to be unfolded 5165242198 2b07cb7659 k

Mind-blowing life hack videos are everywhere on social media — videos that often humble us, teaching us how to properly do something we've been doing incorrectly our entire lives. TikTok and YouTube are full of videos entitled things like "Things I Didn't Know Until My 30s," and they're hugely popular. And for good reason. Because of videos like this, I now know how to keep paint from collecting on lids, open a beer without a bottle opener, and countless other useful life hacks that I actually use all the time. Some of these hacks are truly life-changing. It's hard to believe that I used to constantly struggle with plastic wrap for example. But, as an avid lover of Chinese takeout, this one might be my favorite.

Did you know that your Chinese takeout box is meant to be unfolded out into a plate? It's true. The beloved unique box shape we've all come to know and love is made that way for a very specific reason, and it's been hiding right under our noses this entire time.

Read more