The Last Word is one of my all-time favorite Prohibition-era cocktails. This classic elixir combines an intriguing blend of spirits, fresh citrus, and herbal liqueurs to create a harmonious union of unique flavors.
Why This Recipe Works
The Last Word is a spirit-forward cocktail that is very mild and refreshing with a subtle sweetness. It’s citrusy and full of unique floral spices and botanicals made up of equal parts gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice.
The drink first made its appearance at the Detroit Athletic Club in the early 1920s but remained relatively unknown until it was rediscovered and popularized by renowned bartender Murray Stenson at the Zig Zag Café in Seattle in the early 2000s. Now, it’s pretty popular in cocktail bars and very easy to remember thanks to the equal parts.
- Gin: the backbone of the Last Word, gin provides a smooth and aromatic base. Its botanical notes complement the other ingredients, creating a complex flavor profile. I like London dry gin such as Plymouth.
- Maraschino Liqueur: made from sour Marasca cherries, Maraschino liqueur adds a subtle sweetness and depth to the drink. It balances the gin’s dryness and contributes a touch of fruitiness. A very popular liqueur thanks to the Aviation cocktail.
- Green Chartreuse: this herbal liqueur, crafted by Carthusian monks since the 18th century, imparts a vibrant green color and a unique blend of botanicals. Its complex flavors, ranging from herbal and floral to slightly spicy, give the Last Word its distinct character.
- Fresh lime juice: the lime juice provides a refreshing citrusy tang that brightens the cocktail and enhances the flavors. It adds a necessary touch of acidity to really round out the drink.
How to Make a Last Word
Combine all ingredients into a Boston shaker with plenty of ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
Tips & Tricks
- Chill your glasses ahead of time in the freezer to keep your drinks cooler for longer. This is one of my favorite tricks in the summer.
- This cocktail is best served in a small coupe glass. It makes for a fantastic presentation given the drink’s history and age.
- Always double-strain shaken cocktails through a fine mesh strainer. This removes tiny ice chips that will dilute the cocktail as it warms.
Frequently Asked Questions
The Last Word is typically a shaken cocktail that should be double strained through a fine mesh strainer to remove any ice chips.
While both share botanical notes, absinthe is dominated by anise flavor (black licorice). Green Chartreuse is more balanced, sweet, and mild.
24.7% ABV assuming you use an 80-proof gin. The Last Word is balanced with citrus and spirits in small quantities in comparison to a classic gin martini (around 30% ABV).
Gin is surprisingly subtle in this cocktail—it blends really well with the other flavors. Substituting vodka in most classic gin cocktails tends to really clash for the worse.
More Gin Cocktails
- Cucumber gin and elderflower
- Tuxedo No. 2
- French 75
- Corpse Reviver 2
- 15 must-try classic cocktails
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The Last Word is a well-balanced elixir consisting of equal parts gin, green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice.
- 3/4 ounce gin
- 3/4 ounce Maraschino liqueur
- 3/4 ounce Green Chartreuse
- 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
- Brandied cherry garnish
- Combine all ingredients into a Boston shaker with plenty of ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.
- Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.
Chill your glasses ahead of time in the freezer to keep your drinks cooler for longer. This is one of my favorite tricks in the summer.
This cocktail is best served in a small coupe glass. It makes for a fantastic presentation given the drink’s history and age.
Always double-strain shaken cocktails through a fine mesh strainer. This removes tiny ice chips that will dilute the cocktail as it warms.
- Serving Size: 1
- Calories: 193
- Sugar: 36g
- Sodium: 0mg
- Fat: 0g
- Saturated Fat: 0g
- Carbohydrates: 36.3g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 0g
- Cholesterol: 0mg
Keywords: last word cocktail