By Kait Bolongaro; Business reporter
Nestled high in France’s Chartreuse Mountains, the Grande Chartreuse monastery is home to a cloister of Catholic monks.
Adherents of the Carthusian order avoid contact with the outside world, the better to focus on contemplation and prayer.
But this other-worldly setting is the birthplace of a very worldly product, Chartreuse – a strong alcoholic liqueur made from a recipe said to have been given to the Carthusians in 1605.
The monks of Grande Chartreuse are not alone in these sorts of endeavours.
Religious orders have long produced alcohol (think beer from Trappist monks or tonic wine from Buckfast Abbey) for economic and medicinal reasons.
And some of these products have never been so popular. In an era when the provenance of food and drink is increasingly important, a drink with such distinctive roots carries a certain prestige.
The Chartreuse brand sold 1.5 million bottles worldwide in 2015, selling for about €50 (£44) a bottle, and with all profits going to support the order and its charity projects.
The Muslim Times’ Editor’s note: 150 million people in the world are suffering from alcoholism.