The last word for the end of the world!
Easy to assemble but hard to forget…The Last Word — a pale green, innocent-looking thing that tastes like no other cocktail. A beautiful lime-green liquid, sweet and sharp that can make a gin lover out of almost everyone. And yes, the 4 unique flavors blend together perfectly!
The Last Word is a refreshing drink with a bit of a bite. It’s not a Cosmopolitan. You’ve got to chew on it a bit. It’s not part of the standard flavor profile for the average drinker. The first sip of The Last Word would come as a shock, but a pleasant shock. The Last Word is, well, the last word!
You could call the Last Word the true zombie of the cocktail world. Unlike the Zombie–that venerable tiki concoction which was constantly altered over the years, but which never actually disappeared–the Last Word was created and was then forgotten for decades, before being brought back to life–rising from the grave, as it were–stronger and more powerful than ever.
It was created sometime in the 1920s at the Detroit Athletic Club — by a vaudeville performer, (roughly comparable to today’s stand-up comedian) – not a bartender — but didn’t become particularly popular (maybe because of that bathtub gin they used?)
The drink was all but forgotten until 1951, when Ted Saucier described it in a book about cocktails called Bottoms Up, reintroducing this cocktail to a whole new audience. But most of his readers promptly forgot about it, and the drink was lost again. It was rediscovered only a few years ago, in 2005, by Seattle bartender Murray Stenson who came across the recipe while researching old bar manuals, he dusted off the recipe and began serving the drink to customers at Zig Zag Café in Seattle where is became an instant hit. The Last Word made its way to New York — and then to cocktail glasses around the globe.
Fast-forward to the present day, and the Last Word is a fully revived classic, gracing the bar menus in cities around the globe. More popular now than it ever was in its youth, the Last Word is a surprisingly tasty balance of four ingredients working in perfect unison. Mix one up this weekend, and make up for lost time.
Such a story makes me wonder how many more classic cocktails are tucked away in dusty old books, waiting to be pushed back into centre stage…
1 part gin
1 part Green Chartreuse
1 part maraschino liqueur (like Luxardo)
1 part fresh lime juice
A twist of fresh lime for garnish
Vigorously shake all ingredients together with ice
Strain into a martini glass and garnish with the lime twist