How Three Monks Made Me Smile, or, The Power of Chartreuse

Well, my $166 bottle of CHARTREUSE arrived this morning.

I didn’t open it, though. I couldn’t bring myself to do it. It looked too rare, too special, too luxurious to be opened by myself for no good reason at all.

Fortunately I had also ordered a less expensive bottle of the same thing, just aged less. It’s a green Charteuse. (That’s it, above.) I opened it and am having it right now. All I can say is this…

I’ve tasted heaven.

I don’t know who the three monks were who discovered this fountain of youth in a bottle, but I hope God blesses them.

This is mellow stuff. And potent. Take one sip and you feel warm all over.

Then the tensions of the day ease away.

The your mind relaxes.

Then you start smiling for no good reason.

I think I’m in love. Nerissa had a sip and is in love, too. Hopefully with me. But we both are very impressed with this new discovery: CHARTREUSE.

I did a little more research and learned the following (from

Chartreuse is an herbal liqueur made by the Carthusian Monks near Grenoble, France. According to the tale, the formula for chartruese was invented by a 16th century alchemist as an attempt to create aqua vitae (the waters of life.)

Aqua vitae was believed to restore youth to the aged, endow animation to the dead, and be a key ingredient in the creation of the philosophers stone. Though this attempt at its creation seems to fall somewhat short of the legendary effects, it was promoted as a heal-all tonic by the descendant of the alchemist, and was bequeathed to the Carthusian Order upon his death.

This formula of 130 herbs has been secret for nearly 400 years. Today, only three brothers of that monastery know how to make chartreuse.

Charteuse is made in three varieties; yellow chartreuse, green chartreuse, and VEP elixir chartreuse. Yellow chartreuse is a pale golden color, extremely sweet, and tastes roughly like plum wine with a touch of honey, or perhaps a delicate version of Benedictine (which is probably related.)

Green chartreuse is fiery; the shade of green actually named for this liquor denotes an intense herbal taste vaguely reminiscent of absinthe. Also like absinthe, it has an extremely high alcohol content. VEP elixir chartreuse, the rarest and most expensive kind, sacrifices a small amount of green’s intensity for all of the sweetness of the yellow. Only 100 bottles of VEP elixir are produced each year, and it is the variant closest to the original alchemical formula. It is also, supposedly, the most difficult to create.

Though the precise herbs in chartreuse are not publically known, there is a small quantity of thujone, the active chemical in wormwood. This considered, it is no surprise that the intoxication caused by chartruese is both stronger than it’s alcohol content (110 proof) would otherwise indicate, and slightly different because of thujone’s psychoactive qualities.

Green chartreuse is particularly loved in the goth scene because of it’s efficiency; a very small quantity can maintain a buzz for most of an evening, and a larger quantity can take the sharp edges off of everything.

Yes, it takes the edge off everything. A cat just jumped up here beside my keyboard and I’m smiling. Normally I would ask him to leave. I’m waiting for him to type something here, too.

I’m drinking the “green chartreuse” and loving it. I’m not sure what the copywriting or marketing lesson is here, but heck, this is a blog, so I ought to be able to share whatever I want.

Even this.

Maybe tomorrow I’ll open the $166 bottle.

For now, I’m verrrrrrry content with the less expensive green one.

To Your Health,


PS – You can get the less expensive green Chartreuse liquor (pictured above) at And no, I do not make a dime from telling you about the site. I’m not selling, I’m sharing.


  1. ROB DIAMOND-Reply
    November 27, 2005 at 6:58 am

    Joe, you just convinced me a buy a bottle of that stuff. I went for the cheaper one. If I like it I’ll go for the expensive one. Can’t wait.


  2. Andrew Hollister-Reply
    November 28, 2005 at 9:37 pm

    I know exactly how you feel. In fact a couple years ago I purchased a $200 bottle of Logan Fils Absinthe ‘All because of good copy’

    First an article in Maxim that led me to Google, where I found this quote from Oscar Wilde:
    “After the first glass, you see things as you wish they were. After the second, you see things as they are not. Finally, you see things as they really are, and that is the most horrible thing in the world.”

    Then Hemingway sealed my fate with
    “Got tight last night on absinthe and did knife tricks”

    After that, how could I not…

  3. JacobS-Reply
    December 7, 2005 at 6:48 am

    Hi Joe,

    You’re Great! I love all the E-mail I’m getting from you, including the triggers in the “P.S.” to “keep a secret,” or to peek into “what’s beyond marketing.” So, yes, I love your blog too!

    Just one question, may I?

    As a leading marketer, you must have a reason to this:

    Why don’t you place Adsense on your blog?

    You do know, Google does enable placing Adsense on blogs, right? So, why don’t you?

    Thanks and best regards,
    Jacob S

    or –
    Jacob The Blogger

  4. Joe Vitale-Reply
    December 7, 2005 at 6:50 am

    Hi Jacob. Thanks for the comment. AdSense IS on my blog and has been since day two. Take another look. All the best. – joe

  5. Jake-Reply
    December 9, 2005 at 7:28 am

    you shouldn’t be paying more than 120 bucks for a bottle of chartreuse VEP. I just got one and am about to open it myself.

  6. Joe Vitale-Reply
    December 9, 2005 at 7:31 am

    Jake, you can get a bottle of it for under $50. But the blend that they only make 100 bottles of a year will cost you, usually around $166 a bottle. You no doubt bought the “cheaper” brand. Nonetheless, you’ll enjoy it. – joe

  7. ROB DIAMOND-Reply
    January 4, 2006 at 4:43 pm

    Joe, you just convinced me to buy a bottle of that stuff. Can’t wait!


    Belt Buckles

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