Home Cocktails The Last Word Cocktail (Classic Recipe)

The Last Word Cocktail (Classic Recipe)

Though not a household name, the Last Word cocktail is a delicious mixed drink.

It’s a flavorful blend of gin, lime juice, maraschino liqueur, and Chartreuse. 

This is a sophisticated concoction unlike any you’ve ever tried. It’s botanical and herby, subtly sweet, tangy, and earthy – all rolled into one. 

The Last Word Cocktail (Classic Recipe) featuring Last word cocktail with a decorative garnish of maraschino cherry, served in a coupe glass
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You may not have heard of it yet. But once you try it, you’ll never forget the Last Word cocktail. 

It will leave a lasting impression with its impeccable fusion of ingredients. 

Now, let’s delve into the history of the Last Word, its ingredients, how to make it, and more. 

History of the Last Word Cocktail 

This delightfully balanced cocktail isn’t super well-known. But it also isn’t a new refreshment.

The Last Word dates back to the pre-Prohibition era. 

It first appeared in a cocktail book from the 1950s, but people enjoyed it far earlier than that. All the way back to the 1910s! 

Rumor has it that a bartender at the Detroit Athletic Club created the drink in either 1915 or 1916. 

That’s why you’ll often see it on lists of roaring 1920s cocktails23 Roaring 1920s Cocktails and Iconic Drinks!

It takes its name from Frank Fogarty, a vaudeville performer and frequent Detroit Athletic Club patron. He was known for getting the last word in any conversation.  

However, the cocktail never took off– not even after being the 1951 cocktail book. It didn’t find its niche until a Seattle bartender rediscovered it in 2004. 

After that, it became a regular item on the Zig Zag’s menu. Now, its popularity is picking up speed. 

You can find it in bars all over the US and, of course, on TikTok. 

Top view of a last word cocktail with a decorative garnish of maraschino cherry on top

Ingredients 

The Last Word has an intriguing mix of ingredients. This makes it so perfectly balanced. The ingredient list is quite specific. 

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You’ll need: 

  • Ice- Use large cubes for the shaker. You won’t need any in the actual serving glass. 
  • Gin- You can experiment with different gin varieties to see which ones you like best. However, London Dry Gin is probably the best option. Its dry, juniper-forward flavor pairs well with all of the other ingredients. 
  • Green Chartreuse- If you’re new to this liqueur, you might find its robust herbal flavor too overpowering. While the classic recipe uses equal parts, you can adjust the ratio to your taste.
  • Maraschino Liqueur- You can use whatever brand of maraschino liqueur you have. Just be sure it’s high-quality. You need it to add depth of sweetness to the cocktail. 
  • Lime Juice- Opt for freshly squeezed lime juice for the best taste.
  • Garnishes- Though optional, the typical garnishes for this drink are a maraschino cherry and a lime wedge. Add them or leave them off, as you prefer. 

How to Make a Last Word Cocktail 

Follow these steps to make the Last Word: 

1. Combine the ingredients. Add ice to a cocktail shaker. Then, pour in the gin, Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice. 

2. Shake. Shake the cocktail shaker vigorously for 20 to 30 seconds until the drink is well mixed and chilled. 

3. Strain, garnish, and serve. Strain the cocktail into a chilled glass. Add the maraschino cherry and lime wedge if using. Then, serve and enjoy! 

A Glass of last word cocktail garnish with cherry, a jigger and a lemon slice on a metal serving tray

Tips and Tricks 

This drink is so easy to make. Anyone (with or without bartending skill) can do it. Still, I have a few tips and tricks for you!

  • Avoid very floral gins. While you can select any gin, heavily floral-flavored gins aren’t the best option. Their flowery sweetness upsets the otherwise perfect balance of the drink. 
  • Chill your glasses beforehand. You won’t serve this cocktail over ice, so chilling the glass is the best way to keep it cool. 
  • Maraschino liqueur is not maraschino cherry juice. Don’t just reach for your jar of maraschino cherries and pour out the juice. Maraschino liqueur is something entirely different. You can find it at most liquor stores. 
  • Use high-quality ingredients. Top-shelf gin is best, as is freshly squeezed lime juice. Ensure your other ingredients are also fresh and of good quality. 
  • Stick to green Chartreuse. While yellow Chartreuse will work in a pinch, it throws off the balance of flavors in the drink. It will not taste the same. 
  • Final Word and Dirty Word variations. These cocktails are much like the Last Word, with one distinction. The Final Word uses rye whiskey instead of gin. The Dirty Word substitutes tequila.

More Cocktails To Try

Paper Plane
Gin & Tonic
Pimm’s Cup
Vodka Soda

The Last Word Cocktail (Classic Recipe)

Servings

1

serving

The Last Word cocktail is a prohibition-era drink with notes of mint, pine, cherry, & lime. It’s ideal for those who love a semi-sweet, herbal, & complex sip.

Ingredients

  • Ice

  • 3/4 ounce gin

  • 3/4 ounce green Chartreuse

  • 3/4 ounce maraschino liqueur

  • 3/4 ounce freshly squeezed lime juice

  • Maraschino cherry, for garnish (optional)

  • Lime wedge, for garnish (optional)

Instructions

  • Fill a cocktail shaker with ice. Add the gin, green Chartreuse, maraschino liqueur, and lime juice. Shake vigorously until well chilled, about 20-30 seconds.
  • Strain the mixture into a chilled coupe or cocktail glass. Garnish with a maraschino cherry and lime wedge, if desired.
  • Serve and enjoy!
Last Word Cocktail

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INSANELYGOOD

Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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