Chartreuse 1951-1959 | El Licor Cumbre
The Chartreuse "El Licor Cumbre" of 1951-1959 (Tarragona)
The Carthusian monks still stationed in Tarragona could finally import sugar again, after ten long years of shortages. In 1953, the sales of the Chartreuse liqueur were steadily going up once more. Although the situation was better, since the monks exiled in Spain were able to come back to France, it became crucial for the Unión Agricola to communicate on the Chartreuse liqueurs. They had to keep explaining that the bottles made in Tarragona were the exact same Queens of Liqueurs everyone in France knew and loved.
In France, the Compagnie Française de la Grande Chartreuse was working with the hyperrealist artist Charles Lemmel to promote its liqueurs and elixirs. All the posters that were made at the time were supposed to reassure potential customers, repeating again and again that true Chartreuse could never be imitated or replaced and that the Carthusian Fathers were the only ones who knew how to produce it. In the late 1950's, photography slowly took over, replacing handmade illustrations.
One of the many Spanish adverts coined the term "El Licor Cumbre" in 1951, which meant in English "The Pinnacle of Liquor". This was a catchy but unofficial nickname, as the term would only appear on advertising posters (like for example the ones made by the Spanish printing company Industria Gráfica Seix Y Barral Hnos.) and was never actually found on the bottles or labels themselves.
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