Glass of Chartreuse on the rocks. Chartreuse is French liqueur made from herbs in green version

7 Best Green Chartreuse Substitutes

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Green Chartreuse, also known as Chartreuse Verte, is the most common form of this popular herbal liqueur. It has been around for centuries and has a vibrant green color.

You can enjoy it on its own, mix it with cocktails to create something unique, or use it as an ingredient for cooking.

But for times when you have none at home or feel like it is too expensive, can you substitute it with something else? Yes, you absolutely can!

So, what are the best Green Chartreuse substitutes? When looking for a substitute for Green Chartreuse, you’ll want something smooth, herbal, and boozy. Some of the best options include Dolin Génépy, White Sambuca, Strega, Bénédictine, Drambuie, Jagermeister, and Angostura Bitters.

Read on to find out more about the best substitutes for Green Chartreuse and how they compare in terms of their taste and alcohol content!

What Is Green Chartreuse?

Chartreuse is a herbal liqueur originally created by the Chartreuse Order of monks in the French Alps. After centuries of eaux-de-vie development, the recipe and process for making Chartreuse were finalized in 1764.

One of the oldest spirits available and with a naturally vibrant color, Chartreuse was created as a medicine and an “elixir of long life” derived from a top-secret mixture of 130 herbs and plants.

It has been a staple in many bars since the late 1890s and is used as a base for a variety of cocktails.

There are three types of Chartreuse available in the market:

Green Chartreuse is the original formula and the most common variety available at 55% alcohol by volume (ABV, 110 proof) per bottle.

It offers a wonderful bouquet of flavors with hints of cinnamon, citrus, clove, thyme, and rosemary, which is intensified by the high alcohol content.

A delightful drink that can be enjoyed straight, chilled, or on the rocks, Green Chartreuse is most often enjoyed as a digestif and in cocktails — it is surprisingly diverse!

Paired best with whiskey, it can be enjoyed with other spirits including rum, gin, and brandy. Not only is it sought-after by mixologists for its flavor, but also as an alternative to mint and melon liqueurs when making green cocktails.

Best Green Chartreuse Substitutes

Green Chartreuse has a unique flavor profile that is difficult to replicate, which is why none of the other options can be an exact match.

There are, however, similar liqueurs that can come close and offer some of the flavors that you are looking for.

Priced at $50–$80 per bottle (depending on the market), what makes Green Chartreuse stand apart from the rest is its well-kept recipe that uses 130 different plants and herbs.

With a spicy, herbal, and smooth flavor, and a hint of sweetness, Green Chartreuse is fairly boozy — you can taste the alcohol along with the herbs. Its tasting notes typically include mint, apple, sage, gentian, and vanilla.

When looking for the best Green Chartreuse substitute, avoid going for something overly sweet and syrupy. If the look and color of the drink are also important to you, you must find something that is just as vibrant.

Here are some of the best Green Chartreuse substitutes for you to choose from!

1. Dolin Génépy

An amazing liqueur also crafted in the French Alps, Dolin Génépy is the closest to Green Chartreuse when it comes to flavor.

Its light olive color is similar to Yellow Chartreuse, but its complex flavor profile (which includes minty, sweet, citrusy, and herbaceous notes) is similar to Green Chartreuse. 

At 45% ABV, Dolin Génépy is not as sweet as Green Chartreuse and lacks the licorice or anise overtones, but can be used as an excellent substitute in cocktails.

Dolin Génépy makes for an excellent substitute for cocktails such as Last Words: a classic Green Chartreuse cocktail made alongside gin, Maraschino liqueur, and some lime juice.

2. White Sambuca

Sambuca is a famous Italian anise-flavored liqueur that, like Chartreuse, comes in several different types: white, black, and red.

Out of the lot, White Sambuca is the best to use in place of Green Chartreuse as it has a similar flavor profile. Black and Red Sambuca lack the herbaceous notes of Green Chartreuse and mustn’t be used as a Green Chartreuse replacement.

The name Sambuca comes from the Latin word sambucus, which translates to “elderberry” — this denotes a hint of its fruity flavor.

Since some tasters detect notes of elderberry in Green Chartreuse as well, White Sambuca works great and carries well in that department.

The highlighting flavor in White Sambuca is anise, which is a pungent spice, major notes of which are also found in Green Chartreuse. Notes of pineapple, mint, coconut, and figs balance out the strong anise flavor.

Bottled at a minimum of 38% ABV, White Sambuca is regarded as being much smoother when compared to harsh drinks — it works great in cocktails such as Lumiere and Dreamcatcher.

3. Strega

Strega, which is an Italian word meaning “witch,” is a strong herbal liqueur that works well as a substitute for Green Chartreuse. Like Green Chartreuse, Strega is a digestif and has more of a medicinal tone.

The “witches’ liqueur” has a complex flavor with notes of saffron, juniper, and mint. Often compared to Yellow Chartreuse, its taste complexities are more closely related to Green Chartreuse, making it a suitable substitute.

Bottled at 40% ABV, Strega is much sweeter, lighter, and less alpine than Chartreuse — it is most often mixed in cocktails like Last Word or Biter for its sweetness and spice.

4. Bénédictine

Another French liqueur that can be used in place of Green Chartreuse, Bénédictine was developed by a wine merchant in the 19th century and is a spicy blend of many herbs, flowers, roots, and berries.

Made with a total of 27 herbs and spices, it falls short of the 130 that Green Chartreuse boasts.

Bénédictine includes flavorings such as angelica, cinnamon, nutmeg, saffron, mace, juniper, fir, aloe, vanilla, cloves, tea, thyme, coriander, lemon and lemon balm, and red berries.

Although not as complex as the flavor profile of Green Chartreuse, Bénédictine has an impressive flavor line-up with a blend of spices, making it a good substitute.

It has a rich, spiced flavor, but lacks some of the herbal notes found in Green Chartreuse. It is also not as medicinal-tasting and adds an extra sweetness to any cocktail it is added to.

Weighing in at 40% ABV, Bénédictine is a potent spirit that makes for a delicious cocktail, such as Bijou (which is similar to Last Word), another cocktail that uses the delicious Green Chartreuse.

5. Drambuie

A scotch-based liqueur often used as a Green Chartreuse substitute due to its similar sweet flavor and green color, Drambuie weighs in at 40% ABV and is flavored with scotch, honey, herbs, and spices.

Woodier and sweeter than Green Chartreuse, Drambuie is much less herbaceous and is ideal for cocktail recipes as well as for some cooking recipes.

Its sweet flavor makes it a good addition to desserts, as it makes them more flavorful and aromatic.

When added to savory dishes in place of Green Chartreuse, you need to be mindful of the sweetness levels and adjust the amount accordingly.

Enjoyed straight, mixed with ginger beer, on the rocks, or mixed into coffee, Drambuie also pairs well with brandy, whiskeys, and tequila.

6. Jagermeister

One of the most popular drinks in the world, Jagermeister is a German digestif with a herbal and spicy flavor profile. 

Made with a blend of 56 herbs and spices such as clove, anise, ginger, and cinnamon, it has a complex flavor with sweet and citrusy notes, along with a slight floral scent similar to that of Green Chartreuse.

Jagermeister has a thick, syrup-like consistency, but it is not overly sweet. Over the years, it has developed an image as being synonymous with partying; however, traditionally, Jagermeister has been an after-dinner digestive aid.

At 35% ABV, it can be enjoyed on its own, added to cocktails, and used in cooking. It is popularly used while preparing grilled meat, specifically Jagermeister steaks.

7. Angostura Bitters

A spicy, aromatic blend of herbs including cloves and cinnamon, Angostura Bitters is also a good substitute to use in place of Green Chartreuse.

With about 45% ABV, it is highly concentrated and is commonly used to flavor beverages and cocktails, especially whiskey cocktails.

Due to its concentrated and slightly different flavor, Angostura Bitters may not work in recipes where Green Chartreuse’s flavor is understated. However, its bitter notes are very similar and contribute to its medicinal uses.

Final Thoughts

Green Chartreuse is a unique liqueur with a complex flavor, which is why it is very difficult to come across substitutes that look and taste exactly like it.

There are, however, some very close contenders that can be used in place of this delicious green liqueur for when you can’t get your hands on it.

Dolin Génépy is the closest alternative to Green Chartreuse in terms of flavor, as it is also of French origin and has many similar notes. 

Other options include White Sambuca, Strega, Bénédictine, Drambuie, Jagermeister, and Angostura Bitters, all of which (although not spot-on replicas) will surely get the job done.

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