The monks’ elixir

According to tradition (in other words, this is probably not true, but it’s a fun story), a military marshal in the court of Henry IV of France presented some Carthusian monks with an alchemical manuscript for an elixir of long life. You can still buy the resulting concoction today.

Ospalh [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons
The recipe is said to include cinnamon, peppermint, thyme, lemon balm, hyssop, angelica, and over a hundred more herbs, flowers, and other secret ingredients. The monks brought the recipe to Carthusian order’s headquarters – the Grand Chartreuse monastery – and that’s where Chartreuse gets its name.

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