I’ve been having a bit of a crappy week, with a particular project taking way longer than I had expected and causing me to explore the darkest crevices of my mind looking for new and creative ways to swear at it, with only mixed success. Cue long hours, too much coffee and Red Bull, and some seriously knotted shoulder muscles. That’s why it was an especially nice surprise this morning to find a box on my doorstep, containing an unexpected gift from a friend & long-time Ogre user in France (tuan kuranes) - a bottle of Champagne and also a bottle of a local speciality, Chartreuse.
I’m not much of a drinks expert, despite this not being the first time I’ve received locally-themed alcohol from people using / benefitting from Ogre, so I looked it up, and it has quite a history - originally developed (or learned / adapted from an earlier alchemical recipe, details are sketchy) in the early 17th century by Carthusian monks as an ‘elixir of long life’ and all-round healing potion. Even though it’s produced on a larger scale now it’s ingredients are still only known by 2 monks at one time, allegedly. It’s also incredibly alcoholic, at 110 proof (55%) - guaranteed to put hairs on your chest. Or remove the hair from your entire body - it’s probably 50:50.
All in all, very interesting stuff. I immediately thought of Absinthe when I saw it, but it’s mostly the colour and strength that they have in common I think. I’ve tried a little already with some ice as advised, and its very, very unusual. The best way I can describe the taste is if you imagine grazing on the more herbal elements of your spice rack and then gargling with lit paraffin. I’m sure I can taste oregano and thyme in there, as well as the more obvious anise - but there are 130 plants in there somewhere according to the site. It certainly does taste medicinal! It’s a bit much for me undiluted, I’m going to experiment with mixing it later - orange juice and hot chocolate seem to be popular options. It’s apparently good to cook with too, in small doses.
In any case, it’s great to experience unusual local produce like this; I always like to try local food / drink when I’m away on holiday or business, and I’m grateful to Paul for sending a little bit of France my way, brightening my week, and generally spreading the Ogre love. Kudos for picking something as green as the big dude himself, too 😀