Simple Last Word Cocktail Recipe and Tasty Variations

Published March 18, 2022
Last Word gin cocktail

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce gin
  • ¾ ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ ounce green chartreuse
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Cocktail cherry for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a coupe or Nick and Nora glass.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, gin, maraschino liqueur, green chartreuse, and lime juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with cocktail cherry.

What Does a Last Word Taste Like?

In an argument, the last word tastes like victory and satisfaction. In mixed drinks, it is a beautifully and easily balanced cocktail, much like the Negroni. Its ingredients work harmoniously, although they seem to be a strange combination at first glance. However, when you think of it as juniper-botanical flavors with soft cherry-almond notes, smooth and herbal chartreuse, and that distinctive tart lime, it's a soft, strong, and botanic cocktail. Together, this ragtag crew of ingredients creates something of an herbaceous daiquiri or gin gimlet. The greatest impact on the flavor of the last word is the style of gin, as some will be drier and others will have more robust notes of juniper.

Substitutions

The last word can withstand a few changes and shifts in both proportions and ingredients before warping into a completely different cocktail, which is great for when you need to improvise.

  • Up your proportions by using a full ounce of each of the ingredients, but take it easy, as this will add quite a bit extra booze.
  • Experiment with different ratios but still aim for roughly 3 ounces total: for a gin-forward cocktail, use more gin, add extra maraschino liqueur to make it sweeter, more chartreuse for a more herbaceous, savory flavor, and additional lime juice to make your cocktail tart.
  • With so many different styles of gin, London Dry, Plymouth, Old Tom, and genever, experiment with which is your favorite.
  • If you don't have lime juice on hand, lemon juice can also work.
  • Mix up a naked and famous cocktail with Aperol and mezcal.

Garnishes

The traditional garnish of the last word is a cocktail cherry, but you can opt for other choices or even combine a few. Use a maraschino cherry in place of the cocktail cherry if you want to stay closer to the original. A lime ribbon, peel, or twist adds an extra touch of green. But a lime wheel or slice adds even more green with just a touch more citrus. If using lemon juice instead of lime juice, the same ideas apply as well.

About the Last Word

The last word has been delivering its signature line since Prohibition when bathtub gin was a caustic staple in secret cocktails. The forward notes of the other ingredients helped to smooth over the grainy, offensive flavors of the poorly made gin. After Prohibition, the last word wasn't quite as popular as it once was and fell out of fashion among imbibers. However, the cocktail was rediscovered during the cocktail renaissance and returned to its former, popular glory. This time around with good gin and has since obtained status as a classic cocktail once more.

Last Word Cocktail Variations

With so many last word variations, everyone can taste victory. Try these delicious riffs on a tasty original.

Pete's Word

The Pete's word is a smokier riff on the last word, and the scotch makes this already botanical cocktail even more savory and complex.

Pete's Word cocktail

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce scotch
  • ¾ ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ ounce green chartreuse
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Lime ribbon for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, scotch, maraschino liqueur, green chartreuse, and lime juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lime ribbon.

Dutch Word

The Dutch word requires genever, a Dutch-style gin, to bring it all together. Genever has a more neutral taste than most other styles of gin, and some people compare it to tasting like vodka with a soft botanical juniper touch.

Dutch Word cocktail

Ingredients

  • 1 ounce genever
  • ¾ ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ ounce green chartreuse
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Mint leaf for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, genever, maraschino liqueur, green chartreuse, and lime juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with mint leaf.

Last Palabra

The last palabra is a last word riff that relies on tequila for a smooth cocktail, but you can experiment with reposado, añejo, or even mezcal. All will give you another set of variations.

last palabra cocktail

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce silver tequila
  • ¾ ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ ounce green chartreuse
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lime juice
  • Ice
  • Lime ribbon for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, tequila, maraschino liqueur, green chartreuse, and lime juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lime ribbon.

Final Ward

That's not a misprint, the rye riff of the last word is called the final Ward, named for the bartender behind its invention.

Final Ward cocktail

Ingredients

  • ¾ ounce rye
  • ¾ ounce maraschino liqueur
  • ¾ ounce green chartreuse
  • ¾ ounce freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Ice
  • Lemon wheel for garnish

Instructions

  1. Chill a martini glass or coupe.
  2. In a cocktail shaker, add ice, rye, maraschino liqueur, green chartreuse, and lemon juice.
  3. Shake to chill.
  4. Strain into chilled glass.
  5. Garnish with lemon wheel.

Always Get the Last Word

You may think that the last word has been a popular cocktail since its debut, but like many other classic cocktails and clothing items, it has gone in and out of fashion through the years. Thankfully, the last word has seemingly solidified its place in history, and it has spawned countless other riffs that won't soon be forgotten.

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Simple Last Word Cocktail Recipe and Tasty Variations