Chartreuse 2000-Today | Santa Tecla
The Chartreuse "Santa Tecla" of 2000-Today (Voiron)
Although the Tarragona distillery closed down in 1989, the relationship between France and Spain remained of the utmost importance for the Carthusian Fathers. That's why they founded a new company that same year: Chartreuse Diffusion SL (for "Sociedad Limitada", or "Limited Company" in English). This branch was in charge of importing the liqueurs to Spain, as they were now produced in Voiron. The Chartreuse brand reimagined itself as a high-quality product, with a higher price tag but more adapted marketing strategies behind it. Chartreuse also reached out to younger customers, to try and shake off the monastic image many felt was outdated.
Outdated, perhaps... but the monks were still much loved by the local population of Tarragona, who had spent so many years living next to them. Feeling the nostalgia, the Catalonia region organized a huge exhibition dedicated to the Chartreuse liqueur in 1994, in a building not far from the Tarragona Cathedral. This reunion of fans gave birth to what was known as the "Beguda de les festes" (which means in English "The drink of festivities"). A local cocktail made with lemon granita (lemon juice, plus sugar, plus ice) and Green and Yellow Chartreuse.
This "Beguda de les festes" (also known as "Mamadeta") quickly became the semi-official drink of the "Santa Tecla", a national celebration in honor of Saint Thecla of Iconium, one of the first female martyrs recognized by the Catholic Church. The Santa Tecla happens yearly, around September, and has been part of the local folklore since 1321. This hit cocktail gave Chartreuse Diffusion the idea for the official Santa Tecla Chartreuse, released in the year 2000. A Green or Yellow Chartreuse produced in limited quantities and solely available to the people of Tarragona. The bottles would soon become a real collector's item, as there were only a few thousands made each year.
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