Every now and then, you need to whip out a cocktail that’s got some attitude – something that is bound to leave an impression—and this is when the Last Word cocktail normally comes to mind.
The Last Word cocktail has a very distinctive flavor profile and pairs well with an uncomplicated dessert.
No Chartreuse? No problem! Replace it with a bottle of orange liqueur, like Grand Marnier.
If you don’t have a coupe glass handy, simply serve the drink in any glass with a stem.
Add the gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur and lime juice to a shaker with ice and shake until well-chilled
Strain into a chilled coupe glass
Garnish with a brandied cherry (optional)
A short & snappy history of the Last Word cocktail
Like so many of the best gin cocktails do, the Last Word has its origins in the Prohibition era, which definitively had the opposite effect its proponents had intended. In fact, this might have been the single most wonderful time to be alive if you enjoy an inventive drink. Bartenders and cocktail lovers were making do with all sorts of bits and bobs to create palatable drinks, and the result was a slew of amazing inventions.
Case in point – the Last Word cocktail. According to the tomes of cocktail history, this singular drink was first poured at the Detroit Athletic Club’s bar in the early 1920s and prolifically sipped throughout this era. A Vaudeville performer by the name of Frank Fogarty took a particular liking to it and then spread the Last Word recipe even further by requesting it from bartenders as he traveled from one town and city to the next to ply his trade on the stage.
It trickled along as a classic cocktail for a while and enjoyed a big resurgence in popularity in the 1950s when it was taken up in a cocktail recipe book called Bottoms Up by Ted Saucier. Another bloom of popularity would come in 2005, when bartender Murray Stenson shook it up for patrons at the Zig Zag Cafe in Seattle, from where it spread to NYC.