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Shhh: 10 Make-or-Break Trade Secrets

7. Chartreuse

Many alcoholic beverages claim a unique recipe, but few have the complexity or history of Chartreuse, the pale green liqueur produced by France's Carthusian monks. Made from distilled alcohol and 132 secret extracts, Chartreuse dates back to 1605, although the recipe has changed over the years. The monks' biggest competitor has probably been the French government, which expelled them in 1793 and again in 1903. The second time, the monks moved to Spain and began making a version of their famous liqueur; meanwhile, a corporation took over the monastery and began churning out an ersatz "Chartreuse" before going out of business. In 1935, the monks came back to France, and have been making Chartreuse continuously since then. To this day, only two monks are allowed to know the recipe at any given time.

(iStock Photo)

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