The Green Ghost is a classic cocktail dating back to the 1930s. It features gin, Green Chartreuse liquor, and fresh lime juice. Chartreuse is a unique herbal liquor and good chartreuse cocktail recipes are hard to come by. But this drink is a winner and doesn't require a mixiology degree to make.
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Green Chartreuse is a great liqueur for creating green cocktails that aren't minty or overly sweet melon flavored. This cocktail is popular around Halloween because of its name and St. Patrick's day because of its color.
Why This Recipe Works
First off, this cocktail is full of simple ingredients. While chartreuse is a special liqueur to have on hand, it is truly the star of the show.
Unlike many classic cocktails, this Chartreuse cocktail isn't overly sweet. With its herbal flavor and refreshing citrus notes, it can be served before or after dinner.
When paired with a dry gin, a liquor also known for herbal flavors, it is a match made in heaven.
While the Last Word cocktail tends to get all the press when it comes to Chartreuse cocktails the Green Ghost is easier to make at home.
I don't typically do storytelling on my recipes posts. However, the history of this liqueur is exceptionally fascinating. Chartreuse has been made by French Carthusian Monks since 1737.
Originally sold as an elixir for good health, the monks have continued to distill their concoction despite having been evicted from their home high in French Alps several times over the centuries.
However, they have been distilling continually at their home monastery in France since the 1920s. The current recipe of Green Chartreuse was first produced in 1852.
The monks are still the owners and makers of this unique liqueur. At any one time, only 2 to 3 monks are aware of the recipe and make the infusion which contains over 130 herbs and flowers.
The Green Ghost cocktail first appeared in 1930 and is considered a prohibition cocktail.
You only need 3 ingredients to make this cocktail. Green Chartreuse, gin, and fresh lime juice.
Note that there are 2 types of Chartreuse. The green one used in this cocktail is higher in alcohol than the yellow version. The green version has stronger herbal flavors and is much less sweet.
See the recipe card for quantities.
💭 What Gin Should be Used
While there is no good substitute for Chartreuse you have a lot of range when choosing the right gin for your cocktail. A dry gin is best. Popular brands would be Bombay Saphire, Tanqueray, and Beefeater.
But also consider lesser know buy still widely available varieties like Hendricks, Hayoman's, or The Botanist. Or even a locally distilled gin from your hometown.
Avoid back-sweetened gins or anything that is cask aged. These are great options for other drinks but their flavors will conflict with the heavily herbal notes of the Chartreuse.
⏲️How to Make a Green Ghost
This classic cocktail is shaken (not stirred!) in an ice-filled cocktail shaker and served up. To start fill your cocktail shaker with ice. Add the Chartreuse, gin, and lime juice. Note this recipe makes 2 cocktails.
Place the top on your shaker and shake vigorously. When the outside of the shaker begins to frost over it is ready. Strain the cocktail into your glass and serve up.
A garnish is not required but I like a fresh flower or a dehydrated lime as a topper.
👩🏻🍳 Expert Tip
More Easy Cocktail Recipes
💬Frequently Asked Questions
Green Chartreuse is an herbal flavored liqueur made from over 130 types of plants. It is produced by French monks and makes a great addition to cocktails. Or can be served chilled as a digestif.
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Green Ghost Cocktail
- 4 ounces Gin preferably dry or citrus based
- 1 ounce Green Chartreuse Liqueur
- 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add gin, Chartreuse, and lime juice. Shake until well chilled.4 ounces Gin, 1 ounce Green Chartreuse Liqueur, 1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
- Strain into cocktail glasses and serve.
- As the servings state, this recipe makes TWO cocktails.
- If you prefer a sweeter cocktail you can add a small splash of simple syrup