The Chartreusito: A Great Chartreuse Cocktail in Bordeaux

The blackboard beckoned with this fascinating-sounding cocktail.

A while back, I asked people to offer ways to use Chartreuse…I got some great responses.  I plan to shake up some of the most promising…stay tuned, as someone will be winning the lovely leather-bound wine journal that I promised.

But recently, when I was wandering the streets of Bordeaux one night on my own, this blackboard (pictured at left) caught my eye.

Obviously, it sounded like a Mojito made with Chartreuse…. I wasn’t sure about it, but I went back for dinner and enjoyed one as my aperitif.

It was fantastic—especially on this warm evening as I sat outside. I asked the waiter how it was made: Basically, it’s a Mojito but with half of the rum replaced by green Chartreuse.

I’m making them tonight for dinner with friends…and I can’t wait. Here’s the recipe (adapted from The Ultimate Bar Book: The Comprehensive Guide to over 1,000 Cocktails, written by my good friend Mittie Hellmich. (It’s my go-to cocktail book.)

Consider it a “Mojito with Something Extra.” Mint is a mainstay in the drink, of course, but the Chartreuse adds other sweet and spicy herbs that truly refresh. One sip reminded me of the startling green-ness that is the Chartreuse valley itself.

Photo courtesy of


1 ounce fresh lime juice
1 tablespoon superfine sugar
6 to 8 fresh mint leaves
1 ounce light rum
1 ounce green Chartreuse
Chilled club soda

Muddle the lime juice, sugar, and mint leaves in the bottom of a highball glass until the sugar is dissolved. Add the rum and Chartreuse. Fill the glass with ice and top it off with chilled club soda.


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4 comments to The Chartreusito: A Great Chartreuse Cocktail in Bordeaux

  • Wini

    P.S.: I served six of these drinks last night as an aperitif at a dinner party. Raves all around! Used the recipe proportions as written, but made it all in one batch in one big bowl, muddling the juice, sugar, and mint leaves*, then adding the rum and Chartreuse. Then, I divided that mixture among ice-filled highball glasses and topped off the glasses with club soda.

    *(And, actually, my guests arrived early, so I was in a hurry to get a drink in their hand. To get a head start on mudding the mint leaves, which can take forever, I whirred the leaves ever so slightly in a food processor–not too much, or they’ll turn the drink muddy; just enough to chop and bruise them a bit. Then I added them to the bowl with the lime juice and sugar and completed the muddling process.)

    Move over Kir. I think I found a new house specialty cocktail.

  • Mike Gorski

    Sounds pretty good. If it was me I’d cut the sugar content to just a tsp. But I like my drinks tart and feel that Chartreuse brings a lot of sweetness along with it.

    Thanks for the drink recipe.

  • Wini

    Hi Mike! The Chartreusito is really amazing….good idea to cut the sugar. It was kind of sweet, considering rum is already sweet.

    Email me at You won the “Make-a-Drink-with-Chartreuse” Contest! Send me your address, and I’ll send the book.

    Thanks so much for your postings. I liked the Cat’s Swizzle best! (I wasn’t able to try the Cradle of Life–the oregeat syrup threw me!).

    Thanks, Mike!

  • […] (about $58 at Spec’s). While the version listed in The Ultimate Bar Book– according to — calls for an ounce each of rum and Chartreuse, I prefer an all-green method similar to one […]

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