Last Word Cocktail Recipe

5 from 1 vote
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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 delicate union of unique flavors.

A classic Last Word cocktail sitting on a marble table, garnished with a branded cherry.

Why This Recipe Works

The Last Word is a spirit-forward cocktail that is 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.

Looking for other classic gin cocktails? Try the Bee’s Knees, Aviation cocktail, Tuxedo No. 2 cocktail, and the Corpse Reviver 2.

Ingredients

Ingredients to make a Last Word cocktail on a cutting board.
  • 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 enhances the other flavors. It adds a necessary touch of acidity to round out the drink.

See the recipe card for full information on ingredients and quantities below.

How to Make a Last Word

Step 1.

Combine all ingredients into a Boston shaker with plenty of ice and shake vigorously for 15 seconds.

Pouring Green Chartreuse liqueur into a cocktail shaker with a double jigger.

Step 2.

Double strain into a chilled coupe glass. Garnish with a brandied cherry.

Double straining a Last Word cocktail into a chilled coupe glass.

Expert Tips

  • 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.
A classic Last Word cocktail sitting on a marble table, garnished with a branded cherry.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is the Last Word shaken or stirred?

The Last Word is typically a shaken cocktail that should be double strained through a fine mesh strainer to remove any ice chips.

Is Green Chartreuse similar to absinthe?

While both share botanical notes, absinthe is dominated by anise flavor (black licorice). Green Chartreuse is more balanced, sweet, and mild.

What is the alcohol content of the Last Word cocktail?

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).

Can I substitute vodka if I don’t like gin?

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

Enjoy this recipe? If you made this cocktail, please leave a ★ ★ ★ ★ ★ star rating in the recipe card below & a review in the comments!
5 from 1 vote

Last Word Cocktail Recipe

Servings: 1 cocktail
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
The Last Word is a well-balanced elixir consisting of equal parts gin, green chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and fresh lime juice.

Ingredients 

  • 3/4 ounce gin
  • 3/4 ounce Maraschino liqueur
  • 3/4 ounce Green Chartreuse
  • 3/4 ounce fresh lime juice
  • 1 Brandied cherry, garnish

Instructions 

  • 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.

Notes

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.

Nutrition

Serving: 1gCalories: 193kcalCarbohydrates: 36.3gSugar: 36g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Cocktail
Cuisine: American
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About Shawn Williams

My name is Shawn, author behind Kitchen Swagger. I'm a food & drink enthusiast bringing you my own simple and delicious restaurant-inspired recipes.

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