Hardly the Last Word

Mixologists around the world are putting a new spin on the once long-forgotten Prohibition-era cocktail, The Last Word.


On paper, the once long-forgotten Prohibition-era cocktail The Last Word—a seemingly brash mix of gin, sweet maraschino ­liqueur, herbal Chartreuse and lime juice—sounds like it should have stayed in the Roaring Twenties.

And it nearly did, save for a few adventurous bartenders who saw potential in the potent potable and have since helped make it a mainstay in mixology.

One such spirit slinger is Phil Ward of Death & Co. in New York City. Ward has created several different takes on the drink since he discovered it a decade ago. To Ward, the drink, which has a tart start but a smooth finish, is a happy ­accident.

“It’s like a perfect four-car crash where nobody gets even a scrape, but everyone’s glad they met,” he says. Again, while the separate parts may spook you, the next time you sidle up to a proper bar, see for yourself how sublimely they add up.

Mixologist Updates to this Classic Cocktail

Mum’s the Word

Recipe courtesy Megs DeMeulenaere, bartender at Bramble Bar, Edinburgh

¾ ounce Beefeater Gin
1 ounce yellow Chartreuse
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ ounce blue Curaçao
1 dash absinthe

Combine the gin, Chartreuse, lime juice, Curaçao and absinthe in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe or martini glass.

The Last Wynd

Recipe courtesy Sian Ferguson, general manager of 99 Bar & Kitchen, Aberdeen, Scotland

¾ ounce Havana Club 3 Year Old Rum (or other aged white rum)
¾ ounce yellow Chartreuse
¾ ounce Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur
¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
⅛ ounce honey

Combine the rum, Chartreuse, Luxardo, lime juice and honey in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a coupe or martini glass.

La Otra Palabra (The Other Word)

Recipe courtesy Eric Alperin, co-owner of The Varnish, Los Angeles

2 ounces Del Maguey Mezcal Vida
1 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
¼ ounce yellow Chartreuse
¼ ounce agave nectar
1 teaspoon Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur

Combine the mezcal, lime juice, Chartreuse, agave nectar and Luxardo in a cocktail shaker. Add ice and shake vigorously. Strain into a rocks glass over a large chunk of ice.

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