Having the Last Word

The Last Word

I remember the first time I had the Last Word. The Last Word cocktail that is. It was a number of years ago and I was with colleagues and friends at Presidio Social Club in San Francisco’s Presidio National Park. I was fairly new to cocktails and the name and description caught my attention. So the server came by to take our order. When she got to me, I said, “I’d like the Last Word please.” Without missing a beat, my friend Jason said, “Of course you would, Doug.” The table erupted into knowing laughter. I like to think I’m less attached to the last word and more attached to the Last Word nowadays.

The Last Word is a Prohibition-era cocktail that was invented at the Detroit Athletic Club. It was resurrected not too many years ago and has been roaring ever since as part of the classic cocktail movement. It’s quite the bold taste sensation — sweet, sour, herbal. As Jason Wilson writes in his excellent Boozehound, it’s a “drink with a swagger.” It’s also fun and easy to make at home.

The Last Word

3/4 ounce gin (play around with which gin – it sure changes the drink)

3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

3/4 ounce green Chartreuse

3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur, preferably Luxardo

Fill a cocktail shaker halfway with ice. Add the four ingredients above. Shake well and then strain into a chilled cocktail glass.

Since my first go with the Last Word, I’ve had many. I’ve also gone from one friend named Jason to three. Each of them has a great sense of humor. One of the newer Jasons in my life loves the timeless Negroni. Do Jasons always love gin? Let me know. Go ahead. Have the last word.

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