I'm going to be honest: I just discovered the last word cocktail, and I'm not happy. It honestly might be my new favorite cocktail, and I'm just learning about it now. How is this possible? I need to re-examine my life choices.
Here's why the last word is so great: it's perfectly balanced. That might seem simple, but in the world of cocktail crafting, it's not. The drink perfectly matches sweet, sour and bitter flavors, making it both refreshing and complex.
The Last Word is a classic cocktail that strikes the perfect balance between sweet, sour, and bitter flavors, resulting in a refreshing and complex taste that's sure to tantalize your taste buds. You'll love sipping on this gorgeous green concoction for its elegant and sophisticated vibe, making it the perfect drink to impress your guests or to enjoy as an aperitif before a fancy dinner.
Frequently Asked Questions
Green Chartreuse is a herbal liqueur made by the Carthusian monks in France. It has a unique and complex flavor that's hard to replicate, so it's best not to substitute it. If you can't find it in stores, you can try ordering it online or making your own version at home.
While gin is the traditional base spirit for the Last Word cocktail, you can experiment with other spirits if you prefer. Some popular variations include using whiskey, mezcal, or even tequila.
If you find the cocktail too sour for your taste, you can adjust the amount of lime juice in the recipe. Start with a smaller amount of lime juice and gradually increase it until you find the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors.
Yes, you can make a large batch of the cocktail and store it in a sealed container in the fridge for up to a day. Just be sure to shake the mixture with ice before serving to get that perfectly chilled and frothy texture.
The Last Word is traditionally served in a coupe glass or a chilled martini glass. These types of glasses showcase the beautiful green color of the cocktail and allow you to appreciate the aromas and flavors of the drink.
What is a Last Word Cocktail?
Allow me to reintroduce you to the Last Word cocktail, a classic drink that's making a comeback in the world of mixology. This divine concoction is a perfect blend of gin, green Chartreuse, Maraschino liqueur, and freshly squeezed lime juice, resulting in a perfectly balanced combination of sweet, sour, and bitter flavors.
This green beauty is traditionally served in a coupe or martini glass, allowing the vibrant color and enticing aroma to take center stage. Whether you're sipping on it during a warm summer evening or enjoying it as an aperitif before a fancy dinner, the Last Word cocktail is sure to impress with its elegant and sophisticated vibe. It's the perfect drink to elevate any happy hour, and is a true crowd-pleaser that's sure to become a staple in your cocktail repertoire.
History and Origin
Ok, this is actually one of the cooler backstories I've heard for a cocktail (and I've heard some good ones).
So the Last Word cocktail was invented way back during Prohibition times in the US, probably at the Detroit Athletic Club. Nobody knows for sure who created it, but what we do know is that it was super popular during the 1920s and 1930s, and then kinda fell off the radar for a while. Fast forward to the 2000s and the craft cocktail movement, and suddenly the Last Word is back in fashion, baby!
Now, as for the name, there are a couple of theories. Some folks say it's called the Last Word because it's the ultimate, perfect cocktail, and nothing else can top it. Others say that it got its name because it was created at the last minute before the bar shut down during Prohibition. Either way, it's got a cool backstory and a catchy name that's sure to impress your friends at your next happy hour.
What is Green Chartreuse?
Green Chartreuse is a French herbal liqueur made from a secret recipe of over 130 different herbs, plants, and flowers. It has a distinct bright green color and a complex and spicy herbal flavor, with notes of mint, fennel, and anise, among others. It is also high in alcohol content, typically around 55% ABV (note - this makes it idea if you ever have a cocktail that you need to set on fire. Not that I've ever done that.)
Chartreuse was originally developed by Carthusian monks in the French Alps in the 18th century, and the recipe has been kept a closely guarded secret ever since. Green Chartreuse is the original and most well-known variety, with a milder and sweeter yellow version also available.
Green Chartreuse is a versatile liqueur that can be enjoyed on its own or used as an ingredient in cocktails such as the Last Word, the Bijou, and the Champs-Élysées. Its complex and herbal flavor makes it a popular choice for mixologists looking to add depth and complexity to their cocktails.
- Gin - Gin is the primary spirit in this cocktail and provides the base for the other flavors to build upon. The botanical notes in gin, particularly juniper, work well with the herbal and citrus flavors of the other ingredients.
- Green Chartreuse - This French liqueur adds a complex and spicy herbal quality to the cocktail, balancing out the sweetness of the maraschino and lime juice.
- Maraschino Liqueur - Made from marasca cherries, this clear and slightly sweet liqueur has a nutty and fruity flavor that works well with the other ingredients. It provides a subtle sweetness and adds complexity to the flavor profile.
- Fresh Lime Juice - The tart and citrusy flavor of fresh lime juice gives a refreshing balance to the sweet and herbal notes of the other ingredients. It adds a bright acidity that rounds out the cocktail and makes it more refreshing.
All these ingredients combine to create a perfectly balanced and complex cocktail with herbal and citrusy notes, a subtle sweetness, and a refreshing finish. The Last Word cocktail is truly a classic for a reason!
How to Make the Last Word
Once you have all the ingredients, this cocktail could not be easier to make. Let's do it step-by-step:
Fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
Add the gin, Green Chartreuse, lime juice, and maraschino liqueur to the shaker.
Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 15 seconds to chill the cocktail and combine the flavors.
Strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.
Garnish the cocktail with a cocktail cherry or a lime wheel.
Serve and enjoy!
Batching and Making Ahead
To make this cocktail for a crowd - follow this recipe:
- 1 bottle of gin (750 ml)
- 1 bottle of Green Chartreuse (750 ml)
- 1 bottle of maraschino liqueur (750 ml)
- 1 quart of freshly squeezed lime juice
- Lime wheels for garnish
- In a large mixing bowl or container, combine the gin, Green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice.
- Stir the mixture until all the ingredients are fully combined.
- Transfer the mixture to a large glass bottle or another airtight container.
- Store the bottle in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The cocktail can be made ahead of time and will keep refrigerated for up to a week.
- When ready to serve, fill a cocktail shaker with ice.
- Add the desired amount of the pre-made cocktail to the shaker.
- Shake the cocktail vigorously for about 15 seconds to chill the cocktail and combine the flavors.
- Strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish the cocktail with a lime wheel.
- Serve and enjoy!
Pro tip: When serving a pre-made cocktail, make sure to taste it first to ensure it is still fresh and flavorful. If the flavors have become dull or muted, you can add a small amount of fresh lime juice or simple syrup to liven it up.
Tips & Tricks
Use fresh ingredients: The Last Word cocktail is all about balance, and fresh ingredients are key to achieving that balance. Be sure to use freshly squeezed lime juice, and opt for a high-quality gin and Green Chartreuse to really bring out the flavors.
Experiment with different gins: While the classic recipe calls for London Dry gin, you can experiment with different types of gin to see which one you like best. Try a citrusy gin, a floral gin, or even a barrel-aged gin to give your Last Word a unique twist.
Adjust the ratios to your liking: The Last Word cocktail is all about balance, but that doesn't mean you can't adjust the ratios to suit your personal taste. If you like your cocktails on the sweeter side, add a little more maraschino liqueur. If you prefer a more tart cocktail, add a little extra lime juice.
Get creative with the garnish: A classic lime wheel is a great garnish for the Last Word cocktail, but you can also get creative and try a sprig of fresh mint or a twist of lemon peel.
Don't be afraid to batch it: If you're having a party or hosting a dinner, consider batching the Last Word cocktail ahead of time. This will save you time and ensure that your guests can enjoy their drinks right away.
Always use fresh ice: When making a cocktail, be sure to use fresh ice to prevent your drink from becoming watered down too quickly. You can also pre-chill your glassware in the freezer to keep your drink colder for longer.
- Charcuterie: The savory and salty flavors of a well-curated charcuterie board can be a great complement to the complex flavors of the Last Word cocktail.
- Seafood: The tartness of the lime juice and the herbaceousness of the Green Chartreuse make the Last Word a great pairing for seafood dishes, such as oysters, grilled shrimp, or ceviche.
- Spicy foods: The sweetness of the maraschino liqueur can help balance out the heat of spicy foods, making the Last Word a great pairing for dishes like spicy chicken wings, Indian curries, or Thai noodles.
- Cheese: The Last Word can also be a great complement to rich and creamy cheeses, such as brie, camembert, or goat cheese.
Other Classic Cocktails
The Last Word
- Cocktail shaker or mason jar
- ¾ oz gin
- ¾ oz Green Chartreuse
- ¾ oz freshly squeezed lime juice *see notes
- ¾ oz maraschino liqueur such as Luxardo
- cocktail cherries or fresh lime to garnish
- Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin, Green Chartreuse, lime juice, and maraschino liqueur to the shaker.
- Shake the ingredients vigorously for about 15 seconds.
- Strain the cocktail into a chilled cocktail glass.
- Garnish the cocktail with a cocktail cherry or lime wheel.
Hi, I'm Cara! I'm a food writer, journalist, and recipe developer. I'm obsessed good food, good wine, good cocktails and entertaining. I've picked up a few tips over the years, and love sharing them with others.