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The Last Word cocktail emerged during the pre-prohibition era, somewhere during 1915, at the Detroit Athletic Club, a prestigious establishment known for its elegance and exclusivity.
At the heart of the Last Word’s origin story is Frank Fogarty, a skilled bartender with a penchant for crafting unique and memorable drinks. Fogarty, known for his creativity and expertise behind the bar, is credited with the creation of the Last Word. As a testament to his mastery, Fogarty developed a cocktail that seamlessly blended equal parts of gin, maraschino liqueur, green Chartreuse, and fresh lime juice.
One of the many documented appearances of the Last Word was in Ted Saucier’s 1951 cocktail book, “Bottoms Up!” In this influential publication, Saucier provided a glimpse into the history of the Last Word, tracing its origins back approximately 30 years to the Detroit Athletic Club. According to Saucier, Frank Fogarty was the luminary bartender who introduced the Last Word, not only in Detroit but also later in New York.
The Last Word cocktail is celebrated for its simplicity and balance, with each ingredient playing a crucial role in creating this memorable drink. The recipe calls for equal parts of four distinct elements.
The foundation of the Last Word, gin provides a botanical and juniper-infused base that forms the backbone of the cocktail. The choice of gin can influence the overall profile of the drink, allowing for a versatile range of interpretations.
Adding a touch of sweetness and complexity, maraschino liqueur contributes depth to the Last Word. Derived from Marasca cherries, this liqueur imparts a subtle and slightly bitter nuttiness with a hint of fruitiness to the cocktail.
The green Chartreuse brings a vibrant and aromatic quality to the Last Word. Its complex blend of botanicals, including herbs and spices, elevates the cocktail with layers of flavor and a touch of mystique.
The citrusy zing of fresh lime juice serves as the bright and refreshing element in the Last Word cocktail. It provides a counterbalance to the richness of the other ingredients, enhancing the overall drinkability of this classic cocktail.
22.5 ml gin
22.5 ml maraschino liqueur
22.5 ml green Chartreuse
22.5 ml fresh lime juice
Garnish: Luxardo maraschino cherry
Add the gin, maraschino liqueur, green Chartreuse, and fresh lime juice into a cocktail shaker.
Add ice and shake for 10-15 seconds, until chilled.
Strain the mix into a coupe glass.
Garnish with a Luxardo maraschino cherry.
Ted Saucier’s 1951 cocktail book, “Bottoms Up!” stands as a classic in mixology literature, offering a delightful journey into the world of cocktails during the mid-20th century. Filled with whimsical illustrations and witty anecdotes, the book became a staple for both seasoned bartenders and cocktail enthusiasts alike. Saucier’s work showcased a vibrant array of cocktail recipes, each accompanied by entertaining stories and insights into the social culture of the time.
One notable contribution from “Bottoms Up!” to the cocktail canon is the potential influence on the Last Word cocktail. Saucier’s book may have indirectly contributed to its popularity by fostering a creative atmosphere in the cocktail scene of the 1950s.