Produced only by Carthusian monks tucked away in the French Alps near Grenoble, chartreuse is special. Legend has it that only two of the brothers ever know the secret recipe for Chartreuse. The story goes that each of the brothers memorizes a part of the recipe, which involves 130 herbs, plants and flowers, and since they take a vow of silence, it has remained a mystery to the outside world for over 400 years.
Chartreuse was originally produced as a digestif, consumed for its medicinal, cure-all properties. It comes in three varieties (yellow, green, and VEP elixir), but we've chosen to focus on the Green because it is the strongest (110 proof) of the syrupy trio and has the most extreme taste. In addition to its striking green color, Green Chartreuse also has a few other similarities to absinthe – there's the intense floral and herbal flavor, with hints of cloves, citrus, thyme, rosemary and cinnamon. And as it also contains a small quantity of thujone, the active chemical in wormwood, Chartreuse is said to have psychoactive qualities. So while describing the intense flavor of Chartreuse as heavenly might be a stretch, there's still a good chance that after a few sips, you might see god. [$50; chartreuse.fr]