The Last Word

The Last Word

"The Last Word" is such a great name for a cocktail. It's one of the great prohibition-era cocktails that never gets old. It's green. It's herby. My version is only unique in that I use more Maraschino than the standard recipe, which uses identical quantities of all four ingredients.

The Last Word

3/4 oz gin
3/4 oz lime juice
3/4 oz green Chartreuse
1 oz Maraschino liqueur

Shake with ice; strain into a glass.

It's the only thing I've ever made with green Chartreuse ($58), which seems to match the experience of several friends: if you've never had The Last Word you've probably never had green Chartreuse, and vice versa. I've only ever seen the one brand, if you could call it that; just make sure you get the green stuff (there is also a yellow Chartreuse). By the way, the color is named after the liqueur, not the other way around.

Luxardo ($35) is the only Maraschino liqueur I've tried. I think there are others; I doubt it matters.

Since this is the first recipe I'm posting, I'll go off on a brief diversion about limes. First, don't ever use bottled lime juice. Ever. They're all terrible. Buy fresh limes and squeeze the juice within a day of when you'll be mixing. I usually buy organic produce, but I buy conventionally grown limes as I am disappointed by the organic ones being small and hard and not very juicy. I have hope for the future: there is a baby lime tree in my backyard, though it's too small to produce yet.

A tabletop glass or stainless steel citrus juicer works fine, but I prefer the big yellow enamel lemon hand juicer, as your hands stay clean and you can juice right into a small measuring cup. Go a little easy on the limes-- if you try to get the last drop of juice it will get bitter.

I started out as a big wimp about gin, not really liking the pine-y juniper taste, but have gotten to the point that I like most of them, except for Bombay (not sure why). This cocktail works with just about anything. I most often make it with my favorite gin, North Shore #6 ($38), which is not very pine-y, but sometimes use Hayman's Old Tom gin ($34) or Plymouth ($38).