Cocktail of the Moment: The Last Word

A sublimely addictive lime-cherry elixir (Photo credit: Poul Lange)

A sublimely addictive lime-cherry elixir (Photo credit: Poul Lange)

The cocktail that most surprised me while researching Storied Sips was an awful-sounding concoction that involved equal parts of four ingredients. I liked the symmetry of the recipe, but was sure this recipe was headed for disaster. After a promising start of gin and lime juice was listed two typically overpowering ingredients—the herbal, bitter liqueur Chartreuse, and maraschino, a vivid cherry liqueur. The formula sounded like a muddled mess.

But I was wrong. The complex, lime-and-cherry elixir is bright and surprisingly addictive. It would be at home on a summer day, or on the darkest winter evening. On a trip to Vermont recently, I made the Last Word as an après-ski cocktail for a group of friends. The cocktail was a hit, but even more alluring was its back-story.

The drink was first concocted during 1920s Prohibition in Detroit. The Detroit Athletic Club—playground to the city’s automotive titans, politicians, and debutantes—was its birthplace. Or rather, the Annex speakeasy, in the alley out back of the DAC. I love envisioning ladies in their ball gowns and men in tails sneaking out the DAC’s back door for a quick round of cocktails during their evening of dancing. Easy to make, and elegant, the Last Word add a festive feel to any evening. Recount the speakeasy story as you’re sipping them, and you may even get a little illicit rush.

The Last Word

  • 1 ounce gin
  • 1 ounce lime juice
  • 1 ounce Chartreuse liqueur
  • 1 ounce Maraschino liqueur

Chill a coupe glass with ice water. In an ice-filled metal shaker, add all ingredients and shake for about 15 seconds. Empty water from coupe glass and strain contents of shaker into it.