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Oct 17, 2009 10:03 PM

Green vs. Yellow Chartreuse

Can anyone explain the difference and why one would choose one over the other? Is there anyone out there who feels the need to own one of each? Favorite drinks to use it in?

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  1. Shoulda just Googled - Green is the original, stronger in flavor and proof. Yellow came later, milder and sweeter.

    Still - anyone have preference between the two? A favorite drink to use it in? A bottle of each on the shelf?

    3 Replies
    1. re: andytee

      Check your other thread, l just posted on that. The yellow VEP is a little sweeter and less alcohol. The VEP's started being made after the Tarragonia facility which produced vintage Chartreuse closed down. As far as l know both Verde and Jaune VEP came out together, they cost the same. l have liter bottles of both and many backups, l am a worrier. l drink them neat in a large tumbler or in an old liquor glass.

      1. re: andytee

        I'm a big fan of a cocktail called "The Last Word." (pre-prohibition cocktail). It consists of equal parts green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, gin, and freshly squeezed lime juice, put into a cocktail shaker with ice and strained into a cold glass (martini glass or sidecar glass). It is very sharp and not too sweet. The lime and gin balance the sweetness from the chartreuse and maraschino liqueurs.

        1. re: anewton

          It's an interesting cocktail, but it is a Prohibition era cocktail, not pre. (Sorry, cocktail geek in me coming out.)

      2. The original comment has been removed
        1. Green is usually what most people start with unless they're specifically in love with a cocktail (like my friend was with the Green Point). Eventually as your bottle collection grows in size, people get the other.

          Favorite Green recipes I've had: Bijou, Last Word, Chartreuse swizzle, Green Ghost
          Favorite Yellow recipes: Puritan & Alaska (similar cocktails), Woxum, Green Point

          I list recipes on our blog if you'd like to try any of them, or find the recipes elsewhere online.

          1. Personally, I like the Green a lot more. It just has something that the yellow doesn't... the taste makes me think of an old library for some reason. I do agree with everything Fred has said (and usually defer to his expertise). I bought Green first, and only bought the Yellow because I wanted to make some new drinks and found a fifth for $30. It has its place, but has a much less pronounced flavor. Better to use it in recipes with "gentle" flavors that would be overwhelmed by Green's complexity. I guess that I would consider Green to be an essential, whereas Yellow is a nice addition if you have the space.

            1. Thread revival. I have green and would like to try recipes calling for Yellow.

              How can I approximate Yellow using Green. Not having tasted it, I'm guessing:

              1 oz Yellow could be simulated with:
              2/3 oz Green + 1/3 oz Simple + a few threads of saffron (maybe?)

              2 Replies
              1. re: EvergreenDan

                Green has some rather sharp notes in it so no matter what you do to it, it won't be the same. I have occasionally seen Strega and yellow Chartreuse being interchanged (more for drink variants) so that might be closer. Both have that smoother herbally essence besides having similar botanicals in the mix (and having similar colors from the saffron).

                1. re: EvergreenDan

                  For fun, I tried a Maiden's Kiss:
                  1/3 oz Licor 43® liqueur
                  1/3 oz Maraschino liqueur
                  1/3 oz Triple sec
                  1/3 oz Yellow Chartreuse (I used Green)
                  1/3 oz Benedictine

                  Good god, was it (predictably) sweet. I immediately added 3/4 oz of Lemon, and I think it could take a full ounce. And that's with substituting green for yellow.

                  I'm beginning to think the sugar in liqueurs is the enemy of cocktail recipes. That is, the quest is to get enough flavor in without making it so sweet that you have to balance it with a ton of lemon or lime. On the "you can always add sugar" theory, it would be nice if liqueurs weren't so sweet to start with. It's rather like cooking with canned tomatoes or chicken stock that already has a ton of salt.